reference : Finding the way to the top: How the composition of oceanic mid-trophic micronekton groups determines apex predator biomass in the central North Pacific

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/reference/b53e94f9-9fd9-4de6-8617-49470b98dacc
Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract We updated and expanded a model of the pelagic ecosystem for the area of the central North Pacific occupied by the Hawaii-based longline fishery. Specifically, results from the most recent diet studies were used to expand the representation of the lesser-known non-target fish species (e.g. lancetfish, opah, snake mackerel) and 9 mid-trophic micronekton functional groups. The model framework Ecopath with Ecosim was used to construct an ecosystem energy budget and to examine how changes in the various micronekton groups impact apex predator biomass. Model results indicate that while micronekton fishes represented approximately 54% of micronekton biomass, they accounted for only 28% of the micronekton production. By contrast, crustaceans represented 24% of the biomass and accounted for 44% of production. Simulated ecosystem changes resulting from changes to micronekton groups demonstrated that crustaceans and mollusks are the most important direct trophic pathways to the top of the food web. Other groups appear to comprise relatively inefficient pathways or ‘trophic dead-ends’ that are loosely coupled to the top of the food web (e.g. gelatinous animals), such that biomass declines in these functional groups resulted in increased biomass at the highest trophic levels by increasing energy flow through more efficient pathways. Overall, simulated declines in the micronekton groups resulted in small changes in biomass at the very top of the food web, suggesting that this ecosystem is relatively ecologically resilient with diverse food web pathways. However, further understanding of how sensitive micronekton are to changes in ocean chemistry and temperature resulting from climate change is needed to fully evaluate and predict potential ecosystem changes.
Author Choy, Anela; Wabnitz, Colette; Weijerman, Mariska; Woodworth-Jefcoats, Phoebe; Polovina, Jeffrey
DOI 10.3354/meps11680
Database Provider ResearchGate
Date 2016/05/10/
Journal Marine Ecology Progress Series
Pages 9-25
Short Title Finding the way to the top
Title Finding the way to the top: How the composition of oceanic mid-trophic micronekton groups determines apex predator biomass in the central North Pacific
Volume 549
Year 2016
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 22408
_uuid b53e94f9-9fd9-4de6-8617-49470b98dacc