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Integrating economic dynamics into ecological networks: The case of fishery sustainability
Glaum, P.; Cocco, V.; Valdovinos, F.S. (2020). Integrating economic dynamics into ecological networks: The case of fishery sustainability. Science Advances 6(45): eaaz4891.
In: Science Advances. AAAS: New York. ISSN 2375-2548, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Glaum, P.
  • Cocco, V.
  • Valdovinos, F.S.

    Understanding anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems requires investigating feedback processes between ecological and economic dynamics. While network ecology has advanced our understanding of large-scale communities, it has not robustly coupled economic drivers of anthropogenic impact to ecological outcomes. Leveraging allometric trophic network models, we study such integrated economic-ecological dynamics in the case of fishery sustainability. We incorporate economic drivers of fishing effort into food-web network models, evaluating the dynamics of thousands of single-species fisheries across hundreds of simulated food webs under fixed-effort and open-access management strategies. Analyzing simulation results reveals that harvesting species with high population biomass can initially support fishery persistence but threatens long-term economic and ecological sustainability by indirectly inducing extinction cascades in non-harvested species. This dynamic is exacerbated in open-access fisheries where profit-driven growth in fishing effort increases perturbation strength. Our results demonstrate how network theory provides necessary ecological context when considering the sustainability of economically dynamic fishing effort.

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