|Title||Pilot trophic model for subantarctic water over the Southern Plateau, New Zealand: a low biomass, high transfer efficiency system|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Authors||Bradford-Grieve, JM, Probert PK, Nodder SD, Thompson D, Hall J, Hanchet S, Boyd P, Zeldis J, Baker AN, Best HA, Broekhuizen N, Childerhouse S, Clark M, Hadfield M, Safi K, Wilkinson I|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology|
|Date Published||May 13|
The Southern Plateau subantarctic region, southeast of New Zealand, is an important feeding area for birds, seals and fish, and a fishing ground for commercially significant species. The Southern Plateau is a major morphometric feature, covering approximately 433,620 km(2) With average depth of 615 m. The region is noted for its relatively low levels of phytoplankton biomass and primary production that is iron-limited. In order to evaluate the implications of these attributes for the functioning of this ecosystem a steady-state, 19-compartment model was constructed using Ecopath with Ecosim software of Christensen et al. [www.ecopath.org]. The system is driven by primary production that is primarily governed by the supply of iron and light. The total system biomass of 6.28 g C m(-2) is very low compared with systems so far modelled with a total system throughput of 1136 g C m(-2) year(-1). In the model, the Southern Plateau retains 69% of the biomass in the pelagic system and 99% of total production. Although fish are caught demersally, most of their food is part of production in the pelagic system. Top predators represent about 0.3% of total biomass and account for about 0.24 g C m(-2) year(-1) of food consumed made up of birds 0.058 g C m(-2) year(-1), seals 0.041 g C m(-2) year(-1), and toothed 0.094 g C m(-2) year(-1) and baleen whales 0.051 g C m(-2) year(-1). This amounts to 105,803 tonnes carbon over the whole of the Southern Plateau and is about 17% of the total amount of food eaten by non-mesopelagic fish. Mean transfer efficiencies between trophic levels 11 and IV of 23% are at the high end of the range reported in the literature. In the model, adult fish production is almost completely accounted for by the fisheries take (32%), consumption by seals (7%), toothed whales (21%), other adult fish (13%), and squid (20%). Fish and squid catches are at the trophic levels of 4.8 and 5.0, respectively. The gross efficiency of the fishery is 0.018% (catch/primary production). Although not all data come from direct knowledge of this system, the model reflects its general characteristics, namely a low primary production system dominated by the microbial loop, low sedimentation to the seafloor, high transfer efficiencies, a long food web and supporting high-level predators. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
|URL||<Go to ISI>://000182626900004|