Banning fisheries discards abruptly has a negative impact on the population dynamics of charismatic marine megafauna

Fondo, Esther N., Chaloupka, Milani, Heymans, Johanna J. and Skilleter, Greg A. (2015) Banning fisheries discards abruptly has a negative impact on the population dynamics of charismatic marine megafauna. PLoS One, 10 12: 1-11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144543


Author Fondo, Esther N.
Chaloupka, Milani
Heymans, Johanna J.
Skilleter, Greg A.
Title Banning fisheries discards abruptly has a negative impact on the population dynamics of charismatic marine megafauna
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2015-12-11
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0144543
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 12
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Food subsidies have the potential to modify ecosystems and affect the provision of goods and services. Predictable Anthropogenic Food Subsidies (PAFS) modify ecosystems by altering ecological processes and food webs. The global concern over the effects of PAFS in ecosystems has led to development of environmental policies aimed at curbing the production or ultimately banning of PAFS. However, the effects of reducing or banning PAFS are not known. We explore the consequences of PAFS removal in a marine ecosystem under two scenarios: 1) gradual reduction, or 2) an abrupt ban, using a mass balance model to test these hypotheses–The reduction or loss of PAFS will: i) modify trophic levels and food webs through effects on foraging by opportunistic species, ii) increase the resilience of opportunistic species to food shortages, and iii) modify predator–prey interactions through shifts in prey consumption. We found that PAFS lower the trophic levels of opportunistic scavengers and increase their food pathways. Scavengers are able to switch prey when PAFS are reduced gradually but they decline when PAFS are abruptly banned. PAFS reduction to a certain minimal level causes a drop in the ecosystem’s stability. We recommend gradual reduction of PAFS to a minimal level that would maintain the ecosystem’s stability and allow species exploiting PAFS to habituate to the food subsidy reduction.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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