An Ecosystem Model of the Ocean Around Haida Gwaii, Northern British Columbia : Ecopath, Ecosim and Ecospace Kumar, Rajeev; Surma, Szymon; Pitcher, Tony J.; Varkey, Divya; Lam, Mimi E.; Ainsworth, Cameron H.; Pakhomov, Evgeny
This report describes the structure and workings of an Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) ecosystem model for the waters surrounding Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. The model area lies in the southernmost part of the Gulf of Alaska Large Marine Ecosystem, and hence is predominantly boreal in species composition, although with more commonalities with the California Current than are present in more northern waters. The report covers the development and parameters of the static Ecopath food web model from its early antecedents (the Hecate Strait models) through the recent (2000) and historical (1750, 1900, 1950) Northern British Columbia models to its current form and future improvements. The current version of the model contains 78 functional groups spanning five trophic levels (including increased functional group resolution for marine mammals, elasmobranchs and herring age classes and stocks) and 21 fisheries (including commercial, recreational and aboriginal fleets). Future improvements to the Ecopath model include improved representation of Pacific herring (age/size classes, stock structure and diet composition), zooplankton and epifaunal invertebrates. The report also addresses the use of this model as a platform for dynamic simulations in Ecosim (including the vulnerability parameters based on foraging arena theory) and spatial analysis in Ecospace. The latter includes the sources and processes involved in the designation of the base map, habitat capacity and sailing cost maps for functional groups and fisheries, and marine protected areas.
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