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Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity. Chapter 11. Core Case Study: A Biological Roller Coaster Ride in Lake Victoria. Loss of biodiversity and cichlids Nile perch: deliberately introduced Frequent algal blooms Nutrient runoff

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Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity

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Sustaining aquatic biodiversity

Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity

Chapter 11

Core case study a biological roller coaster ride in lake victoria

Core Case Study: A Biological Roller Coaster Ride in Lake Victoria

  • Loss of biodiversity and cichlids

  • Nile perch: deliberately introduced

  • Frequent algal blooms

    • Nutrient runoff

    • Spills of untreated sewage

    • Less algae-eating cichlids

Natural capital degradation the nile perch

Natural Capital Degradation: The Nile Perch

11 1 what are the major threats to aquatic biodiversity

11-1 What Are the Major Threats to Aquatic Biodiversity?

  • Concept 11-1 Aquatic species are threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, climate change, and overexploitation, all made worse by the growth of the human population.

We have much to learn about aquatic biodiversity

We Have Much to Learn about Aquatic Biodiversity

  • Greatest marine biodiversity

    • Coral reefs

    • Estuaries

    • Deep-ocean floor

  • Biodiversity is higher

    • Near the coast than in the open sea

    • In the bottom region of the ocean than the surface region

Human activities are destroying and degrading aquatic habitats

Human Activities Are Destroying and Degrading Aquatic Habitats

  • Habitat loss and degradation

    • Marine

      • Coastal

      • Ocean floor: effect of trawlers

    • Freshwater

      • Dams

      • Excessive water withdrawal

Natural capital degradation area of ocean bottom before and after a trawler

Natural Capital Degradation: Area of Ocean Bottom Before and After a Trawler


Invasive species are degrading aquatic biodiversity

Invasive Species Are Degrading Aquatic Biodiversity

  • Invasive species

    • Threaten native species

    • Disrupt and degrade whole ecosystems

  • Three examples

    • Water hyacinth: Lake Victoria (East Africa)

    • Asian swamp eel: waterways of south Florida

    • Purple loosestrife: indigenous to Europe

      • Treating with natural predators—a weevil species and a leaf-eating beetle—Will it work?

Invasive species water hyacinths asian swamp eel purple loosestrife

Invasive Species: Water Hyacinths, Asian Swamp Eel, Purple Loosestrife

Science focus how carp have muddied some waters

Science Focus: How Carp Have Muddied Some Waters

  • Lake Wingra, Wisconsin (U.S.): eutrophic

    • Contains invasive species

      • Purple loosestrife and the common carp

  • Dr. Richard Lathrop

    • Removed carp from an area of the lake

      • This area appeared to recover

Lake wingra in madison wisconsin carp removal project

Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin: Carp removal project

Population growth and pollution can reduce aquatic biodiversity

Population Growth and Pollution Can Reduce Aquatic Biodiversity

  • Nitrates and phosphates mainly from fertilizers enter water

    • Leads to eutrophication

  • Toxic pollutants from industrial and urban areas


  • (Midway Film)

Climate change is a growing threat

Climate Change Is a Growing Threat

  • Global warming: sea levels will rise and aquatic biodiversity is threatened

    • Coral reefs

    • Swamp some low-lying islands

    • Drown many highly productive coastal wetlands

    • Destroy highly populated cities

      • New Orleans, Louisiana, and New York City

Science focus protecting and restoring mangroves

Science Focus: Protecting and Restoring Mangroves

  • Protect and restore mangroves

    • Reduce the impact of rising sea levels

    • Protect against tropical storms and tsunamis

    • Cheaper than building concrete sea walls

    • Mangrove forests in Indonesia – 70% destroyed/degraded

Overfishing and extinction gone fishing fish gone

Overfishing and Extinction: Gone Fishing, Fish Gone

  • Marine and freshwater fish

    • Threatened with extinction by human activities more than any other group of species

    • Can cause 80% depletion of a target species in 10-15 years

  • Commercial extinction – when no longer profitable

  • Collapse of the cod fishery and its domino effect

  • Bycatch – 1/3 of annual fish catch by weight

Natural capital degradation collapse of the cod fishery off the canadian coast

Natural Capital Degradation: Collapse of the Cod Fishery Off the Canadian Coast

Case study industrial fish harvesting methods

Case Study: Industrial Fish Harvesting Methods

  • Trawler fishing

  • Purse-seine fishing

  • Longlining

  • Drift-net fishing

Major commercial fishing methods used to harvest various marine species

Major Commercial Fishing Methods Used to Harvest Various Marine Species

11 2 how can we protect and sustain marine biodiversity

11-2 How Can We Protect and Sustain Marine Biodiversity?

  • Concept 11-2 We can help to sustain marine biodiversity by using laws and economic incentives to protect species, setting aside marine reserves to protect ecosystems, and using community-based integrated coastal management.

Legal protection of some endangered and threatened marine species

Legal Protection of Some Endangered and Threatened Marine Species

  • Why is it hard to protect marine biodiversity?

    • Human ecological footprint and fishprint are expanding

    • Much of the damage in the ocean is not visible

    • The oceans are incorrectly viewed as an inexhaustible resource

    • Most of the ocean lies outside the legal jurisdiction of any country

International treaties

International treaties

  • 1972 – US Marine Mammal Protection Act

  • 1973 – US Endangered Species Act

  • 1975 - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

  • 1976 – US Whale Conservation and Protection Act

  • 1979 – Global Treaty on Migratory Species

  • 1995 – International Convention on Biodiversity

Case study protecting whales a success story so far

Case Study: Protecting Whales: A Success Story… So Far

  • Cetaceans: Toothed whales and baleen whales

  • 1946: International Whaling Commission (IWC) – set quotas, but no power to force compliance

  • 1970: U.S.

    • Stopped all commercial whaling, banned all imports of whale products

  • 1986: moratorium on commercial whaling

    • Pros

    • Cons

Sustaining aquatic biodiversity

Examples of Cetaceans

Fig. 11-8a, p. 258

Sustaining aquatic biodiversity

Examples of Cetaceans

Fig. 11-8b, p. 258

Economic incentives can be used to sustain aquatic biodiversity

Economic Incentives Can Be Used to Sustain Aquatic Biodiversity

  • Tourism

  • Economic rewards

    • EX. Reconciliation ecology – building coral reef around underwater restaurant

Case study holding out hope for marine turtles

Case Study: Holding Out Hope for Marine Turtles

  • Carl Safina, Voyage of the Turtle

    • Studies of the leatherback turtle

  • Threats to the leatherbacks

    • Trawlers

    • Pollution

    • Climate change

  • Communities protecting the turtles

Individuals matter creating an artificial coral reef in israel

Individuals Matter: Creating an Artificial Coral Reef in Israel

  • ReuvenYosef, Red Sea Star Restaurant

    • Coral reef restoration

    • Reconciliation ecology

    • Treatment of broken coral with antibiotics

Marine sanctuaries protect ecosystems and species

Marine Sanctuaries Protect Ecosystems and Species

  • Offshore fishing

    • Exclusive economic zones

      • 370 km offshore of country

      • Within this area, foreign boats may only take fish with permission

    • High seas – beyond Exclusive economic zone

  • Law of the Sea Treaty

    • 36% of ocean surface and 90% of fish stocks

  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) - 1986 IUCN

Establishing a global network of marine reserves an ecosystem approach

Establishing a Global Network of Marine Reserves: An Ecosystem Approach

  • Marine reserves

    • Closed to

      • Commercial fishing

      • Dredging

      • Mining and waste disposal

    • Core zone

      • No human activity allowed

    • Less harmful activities allowed

      • E.g., recreational boating and shipping

Establishing a global network of marine reserves an ecosystem approach1

Establishing a Global Network of Marine Reserves: An Ecosystem Approach

  • Fully protected marine reserves work fast

    • Fish populations double

    • Fish size grows

    • Reproduction triples

    • Species diversity increase by almost one-fourth

    • Within 2-4 years




Protecting marine biodiversity individuals and communities together

Protecting Marine Biodiversity: Individuals and Communities Together

  • Integrated Coastal Management

    • Community-based group to prevent further degradation of the ocean

11 3 how should we manage and sustain marine fisheries

11-3 How Should We Manage and Sustain Marine Fisheries?

  • Concept 11-3 Sustaining marine fisheries will require improved monitoring of fish populations, cooperative fisheries management among communities and nations, reduction of fishing subsidies, and careful consumer choices in seafood markets.

Estimating and monitoring fishery populations is the first step

Estimating and Monitoring Fishery Populations Is the First Step

  • Maximum sustained yield (MSY): traditional approach

  • Optimum sustained yield (OSY)

  • Multispecies management

  • Large marine systems:using large complex computer models

  • Precautionary principle

Government subsidies can encourage overfishing

Government Subsidies Can Encourage Overfishing

  • 2007: World Trade Organization

    • U.S. Proposed a ban on fishing subsidies

  • Reduce illegal fishing on the high seas and in coastal waters

    • Close ports and markets to such fishers

    • Check authenticity of ship flags

    • Prosecution of offenders

Some communities cooperate to regulate fish harvests

Some Communities Cooperate to Regulate Fish Harvests

  • Community management of the fisheries

  • Co-management of the fisheries with the government

Some countries use the marketplace to control overfishing

Some Countries Use the Marketplace to Control Overfishing

  • Individual transfer rights (ITRs)

    • Control access to fisheries

      • New Zealand and Iceland

      • Difficult to enforce

  • Problems with the ITR approach

    • Bycatch not reduced

    • Hard to regulate

Consumer choices can help to sustain fisheries and aquatic biodiversity

Consumer Choices Can Help to Sustain Fisheries and Aquatic Biodiversity

  • 1997: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), London

    • Supports sustainable fishing

    • Certifies sustainably produced seafood

  • Manage global fisheries more sustainably

    • Individuals

    • Organizations

    • Governments


    • 2006 – WalMart’s pledge – did they keep it?

Solutions managing fisheries

Solutions: Managing Fisheries

11 4 how should we protect and sustain wetlands

11-4 How Should We Protect and Sustain Wetlands?

  • Concept 11-4 To maintain the ecological and economic services of wetlands, we must maximize preservation of remaining wetlands and restoration of degraded and destroyed wetlands.

Coastal and inland wetlands are disappearing around the world

Coastal and Inland Wetlands Are Disappearing around the World

  • Highly productive wetlands

  • Provide natural flood and erosion control

  • Maintain high water quality; natural filters

  • Effect of rising sea levels

We can preserve and restore wetlands

We Can Preserve and Restore Wetlands

  • Laws for protection

  • Mitigation banking

    • Ecologists argue this as a last resort

Natural capital restoration wetland restoration in canada

Natural Capital Restoration: Wetland Restoration in Canada

Individuals matter restoring a wetland

Individuals Matter: Restoring a Wetland

  • Jim Callender: 1982

  • Scientific knowledge + hard work =

    a restored wetland in California, U.S.

  • Marsh used again by migratory fowl

Case study can we restore the florida everglades

Case Study: Can We Restore the Florida Everglades?

  • “River of Grass”: south Florida, U.S.

  • Since 1948: damaged

    • Drained

    • Diverted

    • Paved over

    • Nutrient pollution from agriculture

    • Invasive plant species

  • 1947: Everglades National Park unsuccessful protection project

Case study can we restore the florida everglades1

Case Study: Can We Restore the Florida Everglades?

  • 1970s: political haggling

  • 1990: Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)

    • Restore the curving flow of most of the Kissimmee River

    • Remove canals and levees in strategic locations

    • Flood 240 sq. km farmland to create artificial marshes

      • Goal?

Case study can we restore the florida everglades2

Case Study: Can We Restore the Florida Everglades?

  • Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) cont…

    • Create reservoirs and underground water storage areas

    • Build new canals, reservoirs and efficient pumping systems

  • Why isn’t this plan working?

The world s largest restoration project

The World’s Largest Restoration Project

11 5 how can protect and sustain freshwater lakes rivers and fisheries

11-5 How Can Protect and Sustain Freshwater Lakes, Rivers, and Fisheries?

  • Concept 11-5 Freshwater ecosystems are strongly affected by human activities on adjacent lands, and protecting these ecosystems must include protection of their watersheds.

Case study can the great lakes survive repeated invasions by alien species

Case Study: Can the Great Lakes Survive Repeated Invasions by Alien Species?

  • Collectively, world’s largest body of freshwater

  • Invaded by at least 162 nonnative species

    • Sea lamprey

    • Zebra mussel

      • Good and bad

    • Quagga mussel

    • Asian carp

Sustaining aquatic biodiversity

  • Indiana National Lakeshore

  • and

  • Indiana Dunes State Park

  • video

Zebra mussels in lake michigan u s

Zebra Mussels in Lake Michigan, U.S.

Managing river basins is complex and controversial

Managing River Basins Is Complex and Controversial

  • Columbia River: U.S. and Canada

    • Dam system

    • Pros and cons

  • Snake River: Washington state, U.S.

    • Hydroelectric dams

    • Pros and cons

Natural capital ecological services of rivers

Natural Capital: Ecological Services of Rivers

We can protect freshwater ecosystems by protecting watersheds

We Can Protect Freshwater Ecosystems by Protecting Watersheds

  • Freshwater ecosystems protected through

    • Laws

    • Economic incentives

    • Restoration efforts

  • Wild rivers and scenic rivers

  • Sustainable management of freshwater fishes

11 6 what are the priorities for sustained biodiversity ecosystem services

11-6 What Are the Priorities for Sustained Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services?

  • Concept 11-6 Sustaining the world’s biodiversity and ecosystem services will require mapping terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, maximizing protection of undeveloped terrestrial and aquatic areas, and carrying out ecological restoration projects worldwide.

We need to set priorities for protecting biodiversity ecosystem services

We Need to Set Priorities for Protecting Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services

  • 2002: Edward O. Wilson (The Future of Life)

    • Complete the mapping of the world’s terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity

    • Keep old-growth forests intact; cease their logging

    • Identify and preserve hotspots and deteriorating ecosystem services that threaten life

    • Ecological restoration projects

    • Make conservation financially rewarding

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