Early Detection of Ecosystem Regime Shifts: A Multiple Method Evaluation for Management Application

The paper we were working on within the EUR-Oceans group for the Baltic Sea just appeared in PLoS One. We show for the first time how different methods for identifying regime shifts can be applied in the marine environment and how they can be interpreted. Hopefully this study will pave the way for same sort of applications in coastal and marine ecosystems.

Does predator interference cause alternative stable states in multispecies communities?

Our paper with Jiangfeng Feng and Egbert van Nes in Theoretical Population Biology just appeared online http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tpb.2012.06.003 . We show that predator interference has a dual effect on the dynamics of multispecies predator prey communities: on one hand it increases their dynamical stability (in the sense of leading to stable equilibrium dynamics), while on the other hand it decreases their resilience (in the sense of increasing the number of alternative stable states that these communities may end to).

ASLO meeting Japan: Session on Ecosystem change and predictability

Together with Elisa Benincà from the University of Amsterdam and Chih-hao Hsieh from the National Taiwan University, we are putting together a special session on

ECOSYSTEM CHANGE AND PREDICTABILITY OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

in coming July during the ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting in Japan. George Sugihara of Scripps Institution of Oceanography is going to kick start our session on a tutorial on nonlinear dynamics and the broad spectrum of the rest of the speakers will ensure an interesting and lively session!

Session Topic: Under global environmental pressure, the risk of unwanted changes in aquatic systems is high. Such changes occur across different scales and take a variety of forms depending on the properties of the ecosystem itself. For example, regime shifts may occur among multiple states, communities may change in composition and structure, ecosystem dynamics can shift from stable states to oscillatory regimes. As we still lack proper understanding of the mechanisms behind these phenomena, predicting system changes, anticipating their risk, and above all identifying their main drivers have a crucial role for the conservation and the management of aquatic ecosystems. This session will draw upon the expertise of empirical and theoretical aquatic ecologists to present methods, theories and evidence of understanding and anticipating changes in aquatic systems.

KNAW colloquium on Early Warnings in October 2012

Our colloquium and masterclass on ‘Early-warning signals for critical transitions: bridging the gap between theory and practice’ will be hosted by the Dutch Royal Science and Arts Society (KNAW) from 10 to 12 of October 2012 in Amsterdam.

We have now opened the registration for the masterclass till the end of August!