SaintJoe H2O

How would you measure ecosystem health?

First off, let me re-introduce myself to people who may be close to a decade younger than me whom I've never met. My name is Nicole Rohr, I am a 2001 graduate of Lafayette High School, and I was in the 2001 class of mar bio (followed by four more trips down with Sean et al. and I worked for 6 months on South Andros at Tiamo Resorts). Currently, I am a 4th year PhD Candidate at the University of Rhode Island and I specialize in the effects of invasive species on marine intertidal/subtidal community interactions with the purpose of entering into a career in marine policy.

I recently completed an internship at the Center for Ocean Solutions in Monterey, CA, and worked with a team of scientists, lawyers, and policymakers on developing ecological indicators for ecosystem based management....what?!?!

Marine management is starting to move from single species management (think fishing regulations on a single species of fish - like tuna) to ecosystem based management (EBM). EBM seeks to protect ecosystem health of the ENTIRE system because a healthy system supports healthy cirtters. Not only that, but many studies have shown that healthy coastal ecosystems support healthy (physically and economically) healthy humans.

The best way to do this? Completely leave marine ecosystems alone to exist how they naturally exist without human pressures. Not feasible. The truth is the humans rely on the marine environment for a whole slew of things including protection from storm surges, erosion prevention, commercially valuable fisheries, oil and natural gas, a place to go boating for the day, SCUBA/snorkel, or simply a place to look at and feel like the world is a pretty fantastic place - there is no way to disconnect the two. To that end, marine spatial management (MSM) is a type of EBM that seeks to manage humans and the environment together by regulating what human activities can occur in what areas.

Great! Fantastic! But how do you determine what human uses can co-exist with which environment types? That answer has been debated for years with no clear answer and high tensions! The Center for Ocean Solutions is attempting to tackle this issue starting in their state waters - starting with how to determine ecosystem health. My team and myself convened a group of scientists from around the country to talk about which ecological factors are most important for determining marine ecosystem health.

We decided on:
connectivity
habitat diversity
key species
species diversity.

How do you measure these things? Seriously, is there a measurement for connectivity? And, once you assess if an ecosystem is "healthy" according to these guiding principles then how do you determine compatibility with human uses?!? Stay tuned...those are up next on my to-do list.

To read more about the work I did, check this out: foley_etal2010_MP (1).pdf

Views: 877

Comment

You need to be a member of SaintJoe H2O to add comments!

Join SaintJoe H2O

WATER...

warm

tropical

water

flowing

ever

so slowly

...northward

About

Sean Nash created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Jonathan Stickler posted discussions
Apr 11
Jackson Stickler is now a member of SaintJoe H2O
Mar 31
Carol Conard left a comment for Jackson Stickler
"Let me know if this works…."
Mar 21
Rylee Hanlan left a comment for Carol Conard
"Of course!! :) I could never forget! I logged back onto this website to go through my journal entries from the trip for my senior scrapbook! Good times! I wish I could go again & I can't wait to hear how it goes this year! :) "
Mar 20
Carol Conard left a comment for Rylee Hanlan
"Remember what you were doing almost a year ago:)  Mrs. C"
Mar 20
Elsie Barry posted a discussion

Chapter 10

So for the first 6 pages or so, I skimmed it because none of it was about marine biology. But then I realized that it's about the corals and their danger. It made me sad to see how badly overpopulated Jakarta was/is, and every time I hear something about the destruction of nature because of human carelessness makes me mad. It makes me mad how people can't comprehend that they just destroyed a million-year-old animals and not it's not there any more. Ugh.See More
Mar 1
Maria Mills posted discussions
Feb 24
Saige Sheets posted a status
"I am on a roll! I'm glad I put notes in the book to go back and do these Discussions!"
Feb 10
Saige Sheets posted discussions
Feb 10
Elsie Barry posted a discussion

Chapter 9 reflection

Once I looked at the quote at the beginning of the chapter, I knew the chapter was going to be about turtles. It made me happy.I feel like the sea turtle is the type of animal that we would know a lot about, rather than being "an enigma to biologists." But apparently there's a "lost year(s)" and that's so weird. It's also interesting how sea turtles avoid bright lights. It makes sense though, because if it's in the light it's visible to other predators. I feel that the turtle get lost in their…See More
Feb 9
Carol Conard left a comment for Shamari robbs
"Welcome Sharmari!"
Feb 9
Shamari robbs is now a member of SaintJoe H2O
Feb 9
Carol Conard left a comment for Saige Sheets
"Finally!  LOL"
Feb 9
Sean Nash's 5 discussions were featured
Feb 6
Saige Sheets posted a status
"Yay! Mrs. Conard be proud! I am finally on! now... time to post a ton about chapter reading.."
Feb 2
Saige Sheets updated their profile
Feb 2
Maria Mills posted a discussion

The Enchanted Braid-Chapter 8 Reflection

That William Shakespeare passage at the beginning of the chapter really caught my attention: "Why, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones."  I find it eerily true... (What a world we live in!)  And the way the author described the fossilized "Bolca fishes" as being "like flowers carefully pressed and dried between the pages of a book" is just beautiful!  He uses so much detail, giving us insight into how well preserved these creatures must be.  The author is always so good at…See More
Jan 27
Elsie Barry posted a discussion

Chapter 8 reflection

I searched up pictures of the Bolca fishes and holy crap. The fishes are so well-preserved and you can see every tiny bone in their body. The details on their dorsal fins are so defined, it looks like someone carved it out. The fact that "there is little difference between this fossil snapshot and a real one of coral reef fishes today" is incredibly cool. Considering the Bolca fishes were around about 50 million years ago, it's hard to believe that there's little indifference. Normally we would…See More
Jan 25
Carol Conard posted a discussion

The Enchanted Braid Chapter 8 Fish Stories

Remember to follow proper protocol while writing your reflection to Fish Stories.  Feel free to provide feedback to other post.  See More
Jan 23
Carol Conard left a comment for Jonathan Stickler
"Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Enchanted Braid!"
Jan 13

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Recent visitors:

from ScienceDaily:

Taxonomic study of green algae (chlorophyta) in Langkawi, Malaysia

Tourism is bringing rapid development to the islands of Langkawi, which puts pressure on the marine ecosystem. This research records the diversity and will be a useful baseline record for biomonitoring studies in Malaysia.

European Eel Expedition 2014: First phase successfully completed

Denmark's largest marine research vessel has spent three weeks exploring and gathering samples in the spawning grounds of the European eel in the Sargasso Sea, between Bermuda and the West Indies. The first phase of the Danish Eel Expedition 2014 has been successfully completed. The expedition is in the Sargasso Sea to investigate whether climate-related changes to the eel spawning grounds or the ocean currents that carry the eel larvae to Europe have caused the dramatic decline in eel numbers.

Researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

Protecting wildlife while feeding a world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050 will require a holistic approach to conservation that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, according to researchers. A new study finds that a long-accepted theory used to estimate extinction rates, predict ecological risk and make conservation policy recommendations is overly pessimistic. The researchers point to an alternative framework that promises a more effective way of accounting for human-altered landscapes and assessing ecological risks.

Findings shed light on seagrass needs

Seagrass beds, which provide home and food for fish, manatees, sea turtles and other animals, find themselves in peril. A new study shows how much sunlight is needed to keep the seagrass healthy. Loss of seagrass means fish, crabs and other animals lose their homes and manatees and sea turtles lose a source of food. Nutrients, such as phosphorous, may prevent seagrass from getting the sunlight it needs to thrive. Nutrients may come from many sources, among them fertilizers used in agriculture, golf courses and suburban lawns, pet waste and septic tank waste.

Declining catch rates in Caribbean Nicaragua green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing

A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua’s legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in what may have become an unsustainable take, according to conservation scientists. Growing up to 400 pounds in weight, the green turtle is the second largest sea turtle species next to the leatherback turtle. In addition to the threat from overfishing, the green turtle is at risk from bycatch in various fisheries, poaching of eggs at nesting beaches, habitat deterioration and loss due to coastal development and climate change effects, and pollution.

© 2014   Created by Sean Nash.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service