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NEMoW II. Context and Forthcoming Ecosystem Modeling Issues. Kenric Osgood NMFS Office of Science & Technology. August 25, 2009. Outline. NOAA Ecosystem Drivers Significant, nascent NOAA activities for which ecosystem modeling will be an important component.

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context and forthcoming ecosystem modeling issues


Context and Forthcoming Ecosystem Modeling Issues

Kenric Osgood

NMFS Office of Science & Technology

August 25, 2009

  • NOAA Ecosystem Drivers
  • Significant, nascent NOAA activities for which ecosystem modeling will be an important component.
    • Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs)
    • Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO)
    • Marine Spatial Planning
noaa ecosystem drivers
NOAA Ecosystem Drivers
  • NOAA Strategic Plan (2009-2014)

“Protect, Restore, and Manage the Use of Coastal and Ocean Resources through an Ecosystem Approach to Management”

  • NOAA Five-year Research Plan (2008-2012)

“Ecological forecasting is perhaps the most complex modeling challenge that NOAA faces.”

“Future priority research activities include:”

“Evaluate accuracy of model forecasts and assess impact of management decisions on resources and habitat quality”

noaa ecosystem drivers continued
NOAA Ecosystem Drivers(continued)
  • NOAA Strategic Plan for the Arctic (2010-2020)

Priority Objectives (draft)

Objective II: Provide Alaska managers with the geospatial models, tools, and assessments needed to make scientifically based decisions on coastal/ecosystem resource management, development, and climate mitigation/adaptation planning.

Objective V: Deliver informed scientific assessments of ecosystems and living marine resources for Alaska and the Arctic. . .

integrated ecosystem assessment definition
Integrated Ecosystem AssessmentDefinition

“A formal synthesis and quantitative analysis of information on relevant natural and socioeconomic factors relative to specified ecosystem management goals”. (Levin et al. 2008)

  • Scientific basis for evaluating the benefits and risks of human activity and proposed management options to marine ecosystems and the social systems that depend on them
  • Incorporate climate change and environmental variability into management decisions
  • 5-step process to implement ecosystem based approaches to management
  • Tool to address multi-sector issues, through spatial planning
integrated ecosystem assessment current and future focus
FY10 – California Current Regional Ecosystem (RE)

Work Plan Under Development

Complete framework for data management and integration

Identify and prioritize data gaps

Expand ecosystem models and develop socioeconomic modules

Develop integrative indicators of ecosystem status

Operational IEA within the California Current

Evaluate and inform management actions

Forecast outcomes of management options

Prepare for expansion into Gulf of Mexico (data access, indicators)

FY11 – Expand to Gulf of Mexico, Northeast Shelf and Alaska REs (funding contingent)

Adapt data management and integration

Identify and prioritize data gaps

Adapt and expand ecosystem modeling framework

FY12-16 – Expand to Remaining Four REs (funding contingent)

Integrated Ecosystem AssessmentCurrent and Future Focus
integrated ecosystem assessment importance of models
Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Importance of Models
  • Compiling data for models identifies data gaps
  • Simulation of ecosystem dynamics
  • Testing ecosystem indicators
  • Integration of physical, chemical, ecological and climate data with fishery, economic and human dimensions data
  • Develop hypotheses
  • Screening potential management policies
  • Forecast potential outcomes of management decisions
  • Examine tradeoffs between ecological and societal goals
  • Flexible and scalable - local to regional ecosystems
  • Manipulate the “ecosystem” in ways not possible in the real world and examine the outcome

P. Levin

integrated ecosystem assessment examples of types of models
Integrated Ecosystem AssessmentExamples of Types of Models
  • Food web dynamics & species interactions (tradeoffs)
  • N-P-Z-D (nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, detritus)
  • Population dynamics
  • Habitat selection models (benthic habitat, ocean condition)
  • Spatial dynamics (hydrodynamic, connectivity, human response)
  • Risk assessment & management strategy evaluation
  • Complex multispecies and non-linear relationships between pressures, states and impacts (e.g. Atlantis type)
  • Quantitative risk assessments determine the probability and consequences of not attaining target ecosystem states
  • Impact analyses evaluate the benefits and costs of options to attain desired ecosystem states
c omparative a nalysis of m arine e cosystem o rganization cameo
Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO)

Purpose of CAMEO is to strengthen the scientific basis for an ecosystem approach to the stewardship of our ocean and coastal living marine resources

Research uses a comparative approach to further elucidate ecosystem dynamics

Unique program that brings together biological oceanography and fisheries science

CAMEO research projects are conducted as joint efforts between federal and academic scientists

current cameo activities
Current CAMEO Activities
  • 1st Opportunity Closed June 17, 2008
    • 49 proposals
    • ~250 investigators
    • $16.7M total request
  • Seven proposals from the 2008-2009 AO have been recommended for funding.
  • 2nd Opportunity released July 7, 2009
    • Proposals due October 5, 2009
  • Scientific Steering Committee has been set up at MBL under the direction of Linda Deegan
    • 12 academic and federal scientists will provide scientific advice and broad direction to NOAA and NSF
    • Currently meeting to develop a science plan
  • Postdoctoral fellows:
    • Tessa Francis at NWFSC (Levin)
    • Hui Liu at NEFSC (Fogarty)
    • Additional postdocs may be added in FY10
  • For more info:
cameo models
CAMEO Models


    • Ranges from the development of conceptual models for emergent properties such as connectivity or resilience to more specific numerical models used for ecosystem comparisons or predictions
    • Among the many possible modeling approaches, different models (or sets of assumptions) may be compared for the same ecosystem, or the same (or similar) models may be applied to compare different ecosystems.

Modeling Specific Program Priority:

  • Development of models that address key scientific questions by comparing ecosystems and ecosystem processes. Models that are geographically and temporally portable, and that incorporate assessment of modeling skill, are particularly encouraged.

Other priorities can include a variety of approaches, including modeling.

cameo projects
CAMEO Projects

Projects Recommended for Funding (2008-09):

6 out of 7 projects include modeling

  • Mechanisms for low-frequency variability of forage fish: A comparative analysis of North Pacific sardine systems
    • Researchers will compare low-frequency variability in California Current and Oyashio/Kuroshio Current
    • Demonstrate how end-to-end physics to fish to fishers models can be combined (ROMS, NPZ, NEMURO, and NEMURO.SANS)
  • Comparative Dynamics of Ecosystem Components: New Approaches to Forecasting and Understanding Variability and Structure in Marine Ecosystems
    • Develop predictive models to compare the California Current LME and the Northeast Shelf LME
    • Nonlinear time scale models
    • Multiscale Integrated Models of Ecosystem Services (MIMES)
  • Building the CAMEO Foundation: An End-to-End Modeling Workshop
    • A workshop will be held to address three themes:
      • Review of current methods available for end-to-end modeling
      • Analysis of model outputs and limitations
      • Assessment of their use as decision support tools
cameo projects13
CAMEO Projects
  • An Integrative Approach to Managing the Dewatering of Estuaries
    • Researchers will examine the impacts of altered freshwater flow and climatic variability on the structure and function of estuaries
    • Non-linear models to examine relationships between biological variables and inflow/salinity
    • Bioenergetics models to predict production dynamics of macrobenthos related to salinity regimes
  • Role of predator-prey interactions in marine ecosystem organization: development of a new toolbox and a comparison of key interactions
    • Researchers will compare key predator-prey interactions in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska.
    • Develop statistical models to look at scales of predator-prey interactions
  • New statistical tools for analyzing community dynamics with applications to marine zooplankton
    • Researchers will develop cutting edge ecosystem modeling tools to analyze long term marine plankton data sets.
    • Multivariate autoregressive models (MAR) will be used to evaluate food web interactions and stability of marine communities
marine spatial planning
Marine Spatial Planning

Ecosystem Modeling can help determine:

  • Connectivity between sites
  • Ecological importance of particular sites
  • Which regions may be best suited to particular objectives
  • Which regions may be particularly sensitive or resilient to types of usage
  • Trade-offs