|Title||Combining quantitative and qualitative models to identify functional groups for monitoring changes in the Bay of Biscay continental shelf exploited foodweb|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Lassalle, G, Pasqual, J-SNelva, Boët, P, Rochet, MJ, Trenkel, VM, Niquil, N|
|Journal||ICES Journal of Marine Science|
|Keywords||comparative studies, ecosystem management, foodweb, loop analysis, Northeast Atlantic continental shelf|
To develop and implement ecosystem-based management, it is critical to monitor foodweb components or functional groups which are robust to uncertainty in ecosystem structure and functioning yet sensitive to changes. To select such functional groups for the Bay of Biscay continental shelf, both quantitative and qualitative foodweb models were developed. First, functional groups for which predictions of directions of change following an increase in primary productivity, prey or predators, or in fishing activities were identical across alternative qualitative model structures were identified. Second, the robustness to model type was assessed by comparing qualitative predictions with quantitative Ecopath model results. The demersal fish community was identified as a sensitive and robust indicator for monitoring foodweb ecological status in the Bay of Biscay. The present study also suggested the potential antagonistic effects of alternative management measures on small pelagic fish and highlighted the need for the joint management of all pressures.