ICES Annual Science Conference 2021

Theme session O

Impacts of human pressures on ecosystem components assessed by dynamic modelling

Monday 6 September
18:00-20:00 CEST

​​​​​​​​​​Ecosystem modelling is evolving rapidly and is increasingly used for management advice. This theme session provides an opportunity to review the latest developments in models that describe human pressures on ecosystem components and their interactions​.

As numerous pressures combine to impact marine ecosystems (e.g. climate change, fishing, acidification, eutrophication), possibly in unpredictable ways, there has been a paradigm shift towards more integrated management of marine areas. This requires a better understanding of marine ecosystem functioning, the different bottom-up and top-down pressures exerted by human activities, and how these combine (e.g. additively or synergistically) when impacting marine ecosystems.

Integrated ecosystem assessments (IEA) consider​ all components of an ecosystem, including humans, in the decision-making process so that marine managers can balance trade-offs. The need for holistic tools in IEAs is now clearly recognized, and dynamic modelling has the potential to contribute significantly to this process. A broad range of ecosystem models exist, from biogeochemical models to food web models, individual based models, dynamic energy budget models, and end-to-end models (some also including societal impacts). Maintaining a diversity of modelling approaches is important given the broad range of questions at hand.

This theme session review the latest advances in ecosystem modelling and explores how ecosystem modelling can expand our current knowledge of ecosystem- and stock responses to different pressures and their interactions. The session aims to present a broad range of ecosystem models and their applications to a wide diversity of research and ecosystem management questions, to demonstrate the use they could have in assessments.

The main topics that will be addressed: 

  • Applications of ecosystem models for marine management
  • Ecosystem and population responses to different pressures and their interactions
  • Quantifying uncertainties
  • Evaluating models
  • Simulating observational and management strategies
  • Formulation of management advice

The conveners welcome different management areas and pressures, e.g. climate change, fishery, eutrophication, invasive species, aquaculture, shipping, offshore marine structures, marine litter, pollution, renewable energy, ocean acidification, and exploitations of marine resources. All types of applications are welcome, as well as model development examples.

Scientists, marine managers, and ICES expert group members with interests in combining knowledge of pressures, ecosystem modelling, and marine management are invited to participate, along with scientists interested in an integrated ecosystem approach to fisheries science and combined pressure impacts on ecosystem functioning and response.

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Solfrid Sætre Hjøllo (Norway)
Marie Maar (Denmark)
Sonja van Leeuwen​ (The Netherlands)
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Theme session O

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