|Title||Modeling changes in the coastal ecosystem of the Pearl River Estuary from 1981 to 1998|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Duan, LJ, Li SY, Liu Y, Moreau J, Christensen V|
The coastal ecosystem of the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) has been overfished and received a high level of combined pollution since the 1980s. Ecopath with Ecosim, was used to construct two ecosystem models (for 1981 and 1998) to characterize the food web structure and functioning of the ecosystem. Pedigree work and simple sensitivity analysis were carried out to evaluate the quality of data and the uncertainty of the models. The two models seem reliable with regards to input data of good quality. Comparing the variations of outputs of these two models aimed to facilitate assessment of changes of the ecosystem during the past two decades. The trophic structure of the ecosystem has changed with an increase in the biomass proportion of lower trophic level (TL) organisms and a decrease in top predator biomass proportion. All the indices of ecosystem maturity examined show that the system was in a more mature condition in 1981 than in 1998, although the system has been in a condition of stress due to anthropogenic disturbances, such as environmental pollution and habitat destruction since 1981. The ecosystem was aggregated into six and seven integral TLs in 1981 and 1998, respectively, using the trophic aggregation routine of Ecopath. Most of the total system biomass and catch took place at TL II and III in both years. But the distribution of the total system biomass and catch at different TLs changed with decreasing proportions in higher TLs in 1998. The mean transfer efficiency was 9.1% and 10.2% in 1981 and 1998, respectively. Comparative network analysis allowed quantification of the importance of direct and indirect trophic interactions among functional groups. Moreover, a method derived from the mixed trophic impact (MTI) analysis allowed estimating importance of groups in terms of "keystoneness" and identifying the keystone species in the two models over the past two decades. The results indicate that there were no clear keystone species in 1998 but two keystone species at medium trophic levels were identified in 1981. Moreover, organisms located at low trophic levels such as phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates were identified to have relatively high keystoneness in the ecosystem. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
|URL||<Go to ISI>://000270644600020|