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Ecopath with Ecosim: methods, capabilities and limitations
Christensen, V.; Walters, C.J. (2004). Ecopath with Ecosim: methods, capabilities and limitations. Ecol. Model. 172(2-4): 109-139
In: Ecological Modelling. Elsevier: Amsterdam; Lausanne; New York; Oxford; Shannon; Tokyo. ISSN 0304-3800, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Ecosystem management; Fishery management; Modelling; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Christensen, V.
  • Walters, C.J.

Abstract
    The Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) modeling approach combines software for ecosystem trophic mass balance analysis (Ecopath),with a dynamic modeling capability (Ecosim) for exploring past and future impacts of fishing and environmental disturbancesas well as for exploring optimal fishing policies. Ecosim models can be replicated over a spatial map grid (Ecospace) to allowexploration of policies such as marine protected areas, while accounting for spatial dispersal/advection effects.The Ecopath approach and software has been under development for two decades, with Ecosim emerging in 1995, andEcospace in 1998, leading to an integrated and widely applied package.We present an overview of the computational aspects ofthe Ecopath, Ecosim and Ecospace modules as they are implemented in the most recent software version. The paper summarizesthe capabilities of the modeling system with respect to evaluating how fisheries and the environment impact ecosystems. Weconclude by a warning about pitfalls in the use of the software for policy exploration.

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