Ecosystem development of Haizhou Bay Ecological Restoration Area from 2003 to 2013
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Two Ecopath mass-balance models were implemented for evaluating the structure and function of Haizhou Bay Ecological Restoration Area ecosystem using 14 ecological indicators in two distinctive years (2003 and 2013). The results showed that the size of HZERA ecosystem became larger as total biomass was increased in last decade, especially in primary producer and zooplankton groups. Total system throughput increased from 7496.00 t km−2 yr−1 to 9547.54 t km−2 yr−1. The P/R (production/respiration) ratio decreased over the decade. Finn’s cycling index and Finn’s mean path length increased over the decade. No keystone species (KS) occurred during ten years; however, evidences of top-down control in 2003 and 2013 models were demonstrated by high KS value belonging to Lophius litulon group in food web. Drawing upon Odum’s theory of ecosystem maturity, the structured, web-like ecosystem of 2013 model had developed into a highly mature system compared with that of 2003 model.
Key wordsHaizhou Bay ecological restoration area Ecopath ecosystem modeling ecosystem development
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This study was supported by the grants of Haibay marine ranching demonstration (Nos. D-8006-12-0018 and D8006-15-8014), and special projects of the agriculture public sector (Nos. 201003068 and 201303047). We also thank the reviewers for the valuable and constructive comments on the manuscript.
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