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Concept of

Ecosystem Carrying
Capacity for Marine
Ecosystem Management
Sinjae Yoo
KORDI
Ansan, South Korea
Outline
 Why a new concept?
• Ecosystem services
• Interactions, linkages, and tradeoffs
 Ecosystem Carrying Capacity
• Definition
• Properties
 Future directions
YSLME Project
 Project Title: “Reducing Environment Stress
in the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem”.
 Project Objective: Ecosystem-based
Environmentally-Sustainable management
and Use of the YSLME and its Watershed:
Reducing Development Stress and
Promoting sustainable Development of the
Ecosystem from a Densely Populated,
Heavily Urbanised, Industrialised Semi-
Enclosed Shelf Sea
Five major environmental
problems
in the Yellow Sea ecosystem
(from TDA report)
 Marine environmental pollution
 Marine and coastal habitat
modification
 Change in ecosystem structures and
functions
 Unsustainable fisheries
 Unsustainable mariculture practices
Since we identified the
major problems, all we
have to do is to solve
each problem?
Interactions between ecosystems and human
societies
Climate systems
Indirect drivers

Direct
driver
s

Services
Benefits people get from ecosystems

Drivers
Factors that change ecosystem structures, rates,
and processes
Provisioning services of
YSE
 Foods
• wild fish, shellfish, algae, etc
• Aquaculture
 Genetic resources
 New materials
 Biofuels
Regulation services of
YSE
 Sewage treatment (water quality
regulation)
 Disease control
 Climate regulation
Supporting services of
YSE
 Nutrient cycling
 Primary and secondary production, and
their transfer
 Maintenance of biodiversity
Cultural services of YSE
 Spiritual/religious values
 Aesthetic values
 Recreation and ecotourism
 Cultural diversity
Multiple drivers
HUMAN ACTIVITIES Fisherie
Land use (agriculture, sewage) s

Construction/ Jellyfish
Aquaculture
Water use
Precipitation
Hypoxia

Freshwater Nutrients
input N:P:Si
Food web/
Productivity
Temp.

Stratification Eutrophication

HAB
Sea level rise.
Fish catch
aquaculture
Overfishing
Provisioning
services
biofuels
Genetic
resources
pollution
Primary and
secondary Maintenanc
production e
of
Supporting biodiversity
Habitat services
modification
Nutrient Water
cycling Quality
regulatio
n
Unhealthy Climate
Regulating
Aquaculture control
services
Disease
control
Climate
change
Necessity of a unified
concept
 Ecosystems provide many services.
 We cannot manage each service
separately.
• There are linkages and tradeoffs
among services.
• Not all the drivers are controllable
(e.g., climate change).
 There is a limit in ecosystem services
and the services are inter-dependent.
 The limit of services will be determined by
various ecological processes, which in turn
are determined by ecosystem configuration
and state.
 There is a need for a comprehensive and
holistic quantity that describe this capacity
of ecosystem to provide its services.
 Such capacity will change under different
environmental conditions.
Logistic model
Verhulst (1838, 1845)

dN N Exponential
= rm (1 − ) N growth
Logistic
dt K growth
N
K/2
K
N (t ) =
 K  rt
1+  − 1 e
 N (0) 

0
0 h
t
Carrying Capacity in trout
aquaculture (Le Cren, 1973)

Numbers are in logarithm

Initial stock (ind. m-2 )


Previous usage of the term
‘Carrying Capacity’
 Human population dynamics (Verhulst,
1838 & 1845)
 One of the basic concepts in ecology: r-
K selection,
 PICES Science Program (1996-2006):
“Climate Change and Carrying
Capacity”
 Ability of ecosystems to sustain fishery
and other living resources,” (Olsen, et
al., 2006).
Ecosystem Carrying
Capacity
Capacity of an ecosystem to
provide various services
The capacity is determined by
ecosystem structure, productivity
and habitat integrity.
This capacity will change as
societal requirements increase and
climate change accelerates.
ECC through time

Time
Determinants of ECC and
drivers
 Ecosystem structure
• Trophic structure (e.g., fishing, climate change,
nutrient budgets)
 Biological Productivity
• Nutrient budget, climate change (stratification,
alteration of freshwater cycle, solar radiation,
etc)
 Habitats integrity
• Water quality (eutrophication, aquaculture)
• Habitat destruction and modification
• hypoxia
Further questions
 How to quantify ECC?
• Different approaches for services?
Provisioning services
Regulating
Supporting
Cultural
• Or unified valuation?
Properties of ECC
 How long does an ecosystem can
provide its services at certain level?
(sustainability)
 How much an ecosystem provide
that service? (maximum Capacity)
 How stable are the services?
(resilience)
Future directions for
YSLME
 Theoretical formulation
• Quantification of ECC
• Properties of ECC and their behavior
 Assessment of ECC of YSLME
• Multi-scale approaches are desirable
 Modeling of ECC of YSLME based on scenarios
• How will it change given the changes in the
ecosystem by climate changes
• Regional scenarios
Summary
 For a unified concept of ecosystem
management, ECC is proposed.
 ECC can conveys in the time of
rapidly changing world.
 Further formulation is needed to use
the new concept.
 Scenarios-modeling in regional scale
will be useful for future management.
THANK YOU!