Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 451–464 | Cite as

Modeling the dynamics of ecosystem for the American lobster in the Gulf of Maine

Article

Abstract

The objective of this study is to evaluate impacts of different management scenarios for American lobster (Homarus americanus) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) fisheries on the dynamics of ecosystem for the lobster in the Gulf of Maine (GOM). The GOM lobster supports one of the most economically valuable commercial fisheries in the northeastern United States. The GOM ecosystem has experienced a great change over the last two decades, switching from a groundfish-dominated ecosystem to a lobster-dominated ecosystem. An evaluation of the GOM ecosystem dynamics can help identify possible causes of such a change and improve our understanding of interactions between lobster and other species in the same ecosystem. In this study, we developed a 24-group Ecosim model to quantify the ecosystem dynamics in the GOM from 1985 to 2007. We developed a Monte Carlo simulation approach to incorporate uncertainties for 15 most sensitive vulnerabilities. We found that the GOM ecosystem dynamics could be generally well simulated using the Ecosim model compiled in this study. A high fishing mortality in cod could result in high lobster stock biomass, suggesting that higher fishing pressure on cod in the 1980s might contribute to the high lobster biomass in recent years. A higher fishing mortality for lobster would have led to a lower lobster biomass. The change in the fishing mortality of cod and lobster would also affect the biomass dynamics of other functional groups, indicating that the Atlantic cod and American lobster fisheries played an important role in the change of the GOM ecosystem in the last two decades.

Keywords

American lobster Atlantic cod Ecosim Fishing impact Gulf of Maine Vulnerability 

Supplementary material

10452_2012_9414_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 4729 kb)

References

  1. Ahrens RNM, Walters CJ, Christensen V (2011) Foraging arena theory. Fish Fish 13:41–59Google Scholar
  2. Araújo JN, Bundy A (2011) Description of three Ecopath with Ecosim ecosystem models developed for the Bay of Fundy, Western Scotian Shelf and NAFO Division 4X. Can Tech Rep Fish Aqua Sci 2952:189Google Scholar
  3. Arreguín-Sánchez F (2000) Octopus-red grouper interaction in the exploited ecosystem of the northern continental shelf of Yucatan, Mexico. Eco Mod 129:119–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ASMFC (2000) American lobster stock assessment report for peer review. Stock assessment report No. 00-01Google Scholar
  5. ASMFC (2009) American lobster stock assessment report for peer review. Stock assessment report No. 09-01Google Scholar
  6. Berger KM, Gese EM, Berger J (2008) Indirect effects and traditional trophic cascades: a test involving wolfs, coyotes, and pronghorn. Ecology 89:818–828PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowman RE, Stillwell CE, Michaels WL, Grosslein MD (2000) Food of northwest Atlantic fishes and two common species of squid. NOAA technical memorandum NMFS-NE-155Google Scholar
  8. Buchary EA, Cheung WL, Sumaila UR, Pitcher TJ (2003) Back to the future: a paradigm shift for restoring Hong Kong marine ecosystem. Amer Fish Soc Sym 38:727–746Google Scholar
  9. Carter JA, Steele DH (1982a) Attraction to and selection of prey by immature lobster Homarus americans. Can J Zoo 60:326–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carter JA, Steele DH (1982b) Stomach contents of immature lobster (Homarus americanus) from Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. Can J Zoo 60:337–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen Y, Kanaiwa M, Wilson CJ (2005) Developing and evaluating a size-structured stock assessment model for the American lobster, Homarus americanus, fishery. NZ J Mar Fre Res 39:645–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen Z, Qiu Y, Jia X, Xu S (2008) Simulating fisheries management options for the Beibu Gulf by means of an ecological modelling optimization routine. Fish Res 89:257–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cheung WL, Sumaila UR (2008) Trade-offs between conservation and socio-economic objectives in managing a tropical marine ecosystem. Ecol Eco 66:193–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Christensen V, Walters CJ, Pauly D (2004) Ecopath with ecosim: a user’s guide. Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  15. Cochrane, KL (2002) A fishery manager’s guidebook. Management measures and their application. FAO fisheries technical paper no. 424. Rome, FAO, 231 pGoogle Scholar
  16. Coll M, Palomera I, Tudela S, Dowd M (2008) Food-web dynamics in the South Catalan Sea ecosystem (NW Mediterranean) for 1978–2003. Ecol Mod 217:95–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cook B (2005) Lobster boat diplomacy: the Canada-US grey zone. Mar Pol 29:385–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cooper RA, Uzmann JR (1980) Ecology of juvenile and adult Homarus. In: Cobb JS, Phillips BF (eds) The biology and management of lobster, II: ecology and management. Academic Press, New York, pp 97–142Google Scholar
  19. Crooks KR, Soulé ME (1999) Mesopredator release and avifaunal extinctions in a fragmented system. Nature 400:563–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Elner RW, Campbell A (1981) Force, function and mechanical advantage in the chelae of the American lobster, Homarus americanus, (Decapoda: crustacea). J Zoo 193:269–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ennis GP (1973) Food, feeding, and condition of lobsters, Homarus americanus, throughout the seasonal cycle in Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland. J Fish Res Boa Can 230:1905–1909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grabowski JH, Clesceri EJ, Baukus AJ, Gaudette J, Weber M, Yund P (2010) Use of herring bait to farm lobsters in the Gulf of Maine. PLoS ONE 5:e10188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Griffiths SP, Young JW, Lansdell MJ, Campbell RA, Hampton J, Hoyle SD, Langley A, Bromhead D, Hinton MG (2010) Ecological effects of longline fishing and climate change on the pelagic ecosystem off eastern Australia. Rev Fish Bio Fish 20:239–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hanson JM, Lanteigne M (2000) Evaluation of Atlantic cod predation on American lobster in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, with comments on other potential fish predators. Trans Am Fish Soc 129:13–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hendrickson L (2006) Northern shortfin squid. Status of fishery resources off the Northeastern US. http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/sos/spsyn/iv/sfsquid/.Herrick FH. Natural history of the American lobster. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
  26. Herrick FH (1911) Natural history of the American lobster. U.S. Government Printing office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  27. Hilborn R (2011) Future directions in ecosystem based fisheries management: a personal perspective. Fish Res 108:235–239Google Scholar
  28. Ji R, Davis CS, Chen C, Townsend DW, Mountain DG, Beardsley RC (2007) Influence of ocean freshening on shelf phytoplankton dynamics. Geo Res Let 34:L24607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Juinio MAR, Cobb JS (1992) Natural diet and feeding habits of the postlarval lobster, Homarus americanus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 85:83–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kanaiwa M, Chen Y, Wilson C (2008) Evaluating a seasonal, sex-specific size-structured stock assessment model for the American lobster, Homarus americanus. Fre Mar Res 59:41–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lavalli KL (1988) Food capture in post-larval lobsters. Am Zoo 28:154AGoogle Scholar
  32. Link JS (2010) Ecosystem-based fisheries management: confronting tradeoffs. Cambridge University Press, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lroux SJ, Loreau M (2008) Subsidy hypothesis and strength of trophic cascades across ecosystems. Eco Let 11:1147–1156Google Scholar
  34. Mackinson S, Blanchard JL, Pinnegar JK, Scott R (2003) Consequences of alternative functional response formulations in models exploring whale-fishery interactions. Mar Mam Sci 19:661–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mayo RK, Shepherd G, O’Brien L, Col LA, Traver M (2009) The 2008 assessment of the Gulf of Maine Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stock. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 09-03Google Scholar
  36. Moody K, Steneck RS (1993) Mechanisms of predation among large decapod crustaceans of the Gulf of Maine coast: functional vs. phylogenetic patterns. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 168:111–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. NEFSC (2000) 30th northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 00-04Google Scholar
  38. NEFSC (2001) 32nd northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 01-05Google Scholar
  39. NEFSC (2002) 34th northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 02-06Google Scholar
  40. NEFSC (2006) 42th northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 06-01Google Scholar
  41. NEFSC (2007a) 44th northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 07-03Google Scholar
  42. NEFSC (2007b) 45th northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 07-16Google Scholar
  43. NEFSC (2009) The northeast data poor stocks working group report. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 09-02Google Scholar
  44. NEFSC (2011) 51st northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 11-01Google Scholar
  45. NEFSC (2012) 53rd northeast regional stock assessment workshop. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document No. 12-03Google Scholar
  46. Ojeda FP, Dearborn JH (1991) Feeding ecology of benthic mobile predators: experimental analyses of their influence in rocky subtidal communities of the Gulf of Maine. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 149:13–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Okey TA (2001) A “straw-man” Ecopath model of the Middle Atlantic Bight continental shelf, United States. Fish Cen Res Rep 9:151–166Google Scholar
  48. Ortiz M (2008) Mass Balanced and dynamic simulations of trophic models of kelp ecosystems near the Mejillones Peninsula of northern Chile (SE Pacific): comparative network structure and assessment of harvest strategies. Ecol Mod 216:31–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Overholts W, Link J (2009) A simulation model to explore the response of the Gulf of Maine food web to large-scale environmental and ecological changes. Ecol Mod 220:2491–2502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Palma AT, Steneck RS, Wilson CJ (1999) Settlement-driven, multiscale demographic patterns of large benthic decapods in the Gulf of Maine. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 241:107–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pereira GC, de Figuiredo AR, Jabor PM, Ebecken NFF (2010) Assessing the ecological status of plankton in Anjos Bay: a flow cytometry approach. Biol Dis 7:6243–6264Google Scholar
  52. Schmitz OJ, Hamback PA, Beckerman AP (2000) Trophic cascades in terrestrial systems: a review of the effects of carnivore removals on primary producers. Am Nat 155:141–153PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Shannon LJ, Christensen V, Walters C (2004) Modelling stock dynamics in the Southern Benguella ecosystem for the period 1978–2002. Afr J Mar Sci 26:179–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shannon LJ, Coll M, Neira S (2009) Exploring the dynamics of ecological indicators using food web models fitted to time series of abundance and catch data. Ecol Ind 9:1078–1095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shepherd G, Cieri M, Powers M, Overholtz W (2009) Transboundary resources assessment committee: gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Atlantic herring stock assessment update. Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document 2009/04Google Scholar
  56. Spees JL, Chang SA, Snyder MJ, Chang ES (2002) Thermal acclimation and stress in the American lobster, Homarus americanus: equivalent temperature shifts elicit unique gene expression patterns for molecular chaperones and polyubiquitin. Cell Stre Chap 7:97–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Steneck RS, Wilson CJ (1998) Why are there so many lobsters in Penobscot Bay? Gulf of ME News, Summer:1–5Google Scholar
  58. Steneck RS, Wilson CJ (2001) Large-scale and long-term spatial and temporal patterns in demography and landings of the American lobster, Homarus americanus, in Maine. Mar Fre Res 52:1303–1320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Taylor MH, Tam J, Blaskovic V, Espinoza P, Ballon RM, Wosnitza-Mendo C, Arguelles J, Diaz E. Purca S, Ochoa N, Ayon P, Goya E, Gutierrez D, Quipuzcoa L, Wolff M (2008) Trophic modeling of the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem, Part II: elucidating ecosystem dynamics from 1995 to 2004 with a focus on the impact of ENSO. Pro Oce 79:366–378Google Scholar
  60. Tsehaye Y, Nagelkerke LAJ (2008) Exploring optimal fishing scenarios for the multispecies artisanal fisheries of Eritrea using a trophic model. Ecol Mod 212:319–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wahle RA, Steneck RS (1991) Recruitment habitats and nursery grounds of the American lobster, Homarus americanus: a demographic bottleneck? Mar Eco Pro Ser 69:231–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Walters CJ, Juanes F (1993) Recruitment limitation as a consequence of natural selection for use of restricted feeding habitats and predation risk taking by juvenile fishes. Can J Fish Aqua Sci 50:2058–2070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Walters CJ, Korman J (1999) Linking recruitment to trophic factors: revisiting the Beverton-Holt recruitment model from a life history and multispecies perspective. Rev Fish Biol Fish 9:187–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Walters CJ, Martell SJ (2004) Fisheries ecology and management. Princeton University Press, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  65. Walters C, Christensen V, Pauly D (1997) Structuring dynamic models of exploited ecosystems from trophic mass-balance assessments. Rev Fish Biol Fish 7:139–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhang Y (2005) Ecological Modeling of American lobster (Homarus americanus) population in the Gulf of Maine. M.S. Thesis. University of Maine, Orono, MEGoogle Scholar
  67. Zhang Y, Chen Y (2007) Modeling and evaluating ecosystem in 1980s and 1990s for American lobster (Homarus americanus) in the Gulf of Maine. Ecol Mod 203:475–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Marine SciencesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.Shanghai Ocean UniversityLingang New CityPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Marine Sciences ProgramFlorida International UniversityNorth MiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations