UBC Graduate Research

From the Tropics to the Poles : Ecosystem Models of Hudson Bay, Kaloko-Honokōhau, Hawai'i, and the Antarctic Peninsula Wabnitz, Colette C. C.; Hoover, Carie


This report summarizes the existing knowledge on three ecosystems: Hudson Bay, Canada, Kaloko- Honokōhau, Hawai‘i, and the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica. Through the construction of ecosystem models representing these three regions, research from numerous aspects of each ecosystem are pieced together to present a holistic story. While we live in a rapidly changing world, it is important to remember there are many regions where we are still gaining an understanding of basic knowledge. Research on these ecosystems, from the Arctic to the tropics to the Antarctic, presents different levels of our knowledge. For the Arctic (Hudson Bay) the focus is identifying changes known to be occurring for certain species, and addressing the reasons for those changes in addition to the greater implications to the rest of the ecosystem. In the tropics (Hawai‘i) the construction of a model allows insight into structure and function of the ecosystem focusing on the role of an endangered species, the green sea turtle, and provides a baseline to assess potential future impacts on the ecosystem from coastal development. In the Antarctic (AntarAntarctic Peninsula) ecosystem, environmental changes are explored as they impact a key link in the food web. While the models presented address localized issues relating to very different regions of the world, the ultimate goal is the same; to increase our understanding of ecosystems as a whole and the different stressors related to each region. With this knowledge, we can formulate better questions for future research, assist in informing managers, and hopefully gain greater insights and understanding of the likely impact of future stressors.

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