A top-down approach to modelling marine ecosystems in the context of physical-biological modelling

A.F. Vezina, C. Hannah, Michael St. John

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Coupled physical-biological models have become reasonably proficient at simulating physically-driven features such as spring blooms. However, demands for marine ecosystem models are shifting to predicting functional diversity and ecosystem change. Much work is needed to develop the ecosystem models that can deal with such questions without getting bogged down into unmanageable complexity. We argue that we need systematic ways to add complexity to ecosystem models, specifically a top-down approach that takes explicitly into account high-level rales about how ecological networks are organized. We will draw on complexity theory and food web ecology to gain insights into potential high-level rales that could be explored in developing complex marine ecosystem models. We will also look at potential avenues for the implementation of such approaches in the context of operational forecasting and illustrate them with examples from current work. We see convergence among the lower trophic levels, multispecies and theoretical food web modelling communities and, in that context, cross-fertilization of ideas needs to be encouraged
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe changing North Pacific: Previous patterns, future projections, and ecosystem impacts
Number of pages122
Publication date2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventPICES - Victoria, BC, Canada
Duration: 1 Jan 2007 → …
Conference number: 16


CityVictoria, BC, Canada
Period01/01/2007 → …


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