Ecosystem-based Management

 

Mapping Ecosystem Service Supply and Demand in Maui Nui

Collaborators: Kirsten Oleson, Joey Lecky, Jade Delevaux, Kosta Stamoulis, Susan Yee, Alan Friedlander

An important component of Ecosystem-based management is recognizing that ecological outcomes are linked to societal outcomes, so it is important to understand how a given human stressor affects the provision of benefits humans derive from the ecosystem. However, understanding the distribution of ecosystem service supply is often challenging, and there isn't always information on both the supply of the service from the environment, and the demand from society. To meet this need we developed spatial predictive maps of ecosystem service supply for coral reefs in Maui Nui. We compared maps of potential supply with maps of demand derived from a participatory survey of human uses conducted by the National Marine Protected Areas Center to provide information for improving monitoring and evaluation of management actions. 

 

Characterizing Ecosystem Coral Reef Regimes 

 

Collaborators: Alan Friedlander, Joey Lecky, Larry Crowder, Nick Graham, Jamie Gove, Carrie Kappel, Jack Kittinger, Albert Norstrom, Magnus Nystrom, JB Jouffray, Kirsten Oleson, Kosta Stamoulis, Lisa Wedding, Crow White, Gareth Williams, Ivor Williams, Kim Selkoe

 

Coral reefs are often characterized along a spectrum from coral to macroalgae. Yet this view of coral reefs is limited in that it doesn't consider other components of the ecosystem such as fishes. To address this, we utilized a synthesis of coral reef data, allowing analysis at a scale commensurate with ecosystem-based management in the Hawaiian Islands. To better describe coral reef ecosystems in terms of the communities that compose them, fish and benthic assemblages were considered together to define reef regimes. With this nuanced perspective of coral reefs, we identified a regime that was classified by low coral and low macroalgae but high fish biomass, and what was previously considered a single coral regime was broken into several regimes that varied in their ecology and relative resilience to human drivers. This is part of the Ocean Tipping Points Hawaii case study.

 

Ecological Indicators of Coral Reefs Across Multiple Spatial Scales

                       

          Collaborators: Megan Donahue, Ivor Williams

The implementation and evaluation of ecosystem approaches to management require strong quantitative tools and a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the ecosystem being managed. This includes understanding how the scale of management matches the scale of ecological processes. For my NMFS-Population and Ecosystem Dynamics Fellowship, I'm working on modeling relationships between coral reef ecosystem indicators and human drivers at multiple spatial scales in Hawaii. To accomplish this, I'm building Bayesian hierarchical models with nested spatial structures to allow for multiple levels of inference, and evaluating multiple candidate models that will allow me to test for the existence of thresholds between indicators and drivers. The outcome will be serve multiple purposes for implementing EBM, including evaluating the relevance of indicators at different spatial scales.