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Recovery or decline of the northwestern Black Sea : a societal choice revealed by socio-ecological modelling

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by O Langmead, A McQuatters-Gollop, L Mee, J Friedrich, A Gilbert, MT Gomoiu, Emma JacksonEmma Jackson, S Knudsen, G Minicheva, V Todorova
During recent decades anthropogenic activities have dramatically impacted the Black Sea ecosystem. High levels of riverine nutrient input during the 1970s and 1980s caused eutrophic conditions including intense algal blooms resulting in hypoxia and the subsequent collapse of benthic habitats on the northwestern shelf. Intense fishing pressure also depleted stocks of many apex predators, contributing to an increase in planktivorous fish that are now the focus of fishing efforts. Additionally, the Black Sea’s ecosystem changed even further with the introduction of exotic species. Economic collapse of the surrounding socialist republics in the early 1990s resulted in decreased nutrient loading which has allowed the Black Sea ecosystem to start to recover, but under rapidly changing economic and political conditions, future recovery is uncertain. In this study we use a multidisciplinary approach to integrate information from socioeconomic and ecological systems to model the effects of future development scenarios on the marine environment of the northwestern Black Sea shelf. The Driver–Pressure–State-Impact-Response framework was used to construct conceptual models, explicitly mapping impacts of socio-economic Drivers on the marine ecosystem. Bayesian belief networks (BBNs), a stochastic modelling technique, were used to quantify these causal relationships, operationalise models and assess the effects of alternative development paths on the Black Sea ecosystem. BBNs use probabilistic dependencies as a common metric, allowing the integration of quantitative and qualitative information.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

220

Issue

21

Start Page

2927

End Page

2939

Number of Pages

13

eISSN

1872-7026

ISSN

0304-3800

Location

Netherlands

Publisher

Elsevier

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung; Bŭlgarska akademiia͡ na naukite; Institutul Național de Cercetare-Dezvoltare pentru Geologie și Geoecologie Marina (Romania); Nats͡ionalʹna akademiia͡ nauk Ukraïny; Plymouth Marine Laboratory (Great Britain); Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science; Universitetet i Bergen; University of Plymouth; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Ecological modelling.