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Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling - Home

The Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Task at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center focuses on the collection and analysis of data relating to trophic interactions in the North Pacific and incorporation of these data into environmental assessments and single-species and multispecies models. Systematic collection and analysis of groundfish food habits data is performed. Data on size-at-age is integrated with bioenergetic information to estimate food consumption rates by fish populations. Information on marine mammal and bird diet is obtained from other Center programs or outside researchers. Quantifying food web linkages is essential to increase our understanding of how external forces such as fishing may cause unanticipated shifts in ecosystem composition. The importance of this research is also elevated given the increasing emphasis on fishery-mammal interactions: groundfish predation interactions are an important part of knowing the true nature of resource availability to mammals and birds.

Stomach samples are collected at virtually no cost to the program, utilizing fishery observers and existing assessment cruises for collection platforms. Samples are analyzed in the laboratory and entered into a food habits database. These data allow assessment of factors influencing individual species food habits, including interannual changes. Predation effects by groundfish populations are then quantified and incorporated into assessment models.

Recent Publications, Poster Presentations, Reports & Activities

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