Shin and Cury 2001

Exploring fish community dynamics through size-dependent trophic interactions using a spatialized individual-based model

Type Journal Article
Author Yunne-Jai Shin
Author Philippe Cury
Volume 14
Issue 2
Pages 65-80
Publication Aquatic Living Resources
ISSN 0990-7440
Date March 2001
DOI 10.1016/S0990-7440(01)01106-8
Abstract An individual-based model named OSMOSE (Object-oriented Simulator of Marine Ecosystems Exploitation) is used to investigate the dynamics of exploited marine fish communities. It allows the representation of age- and size-structured populations comprised of groups of individuals that interact within a spatialized food web. Within each group, which constitutes the basic interaction entity (the ‘super-individual’ in individual-based modelling terminology), fish belong to the same species, have similar biological parameters and behaviour rules. Somatic growth, reproduction, predation and starvation processes are modelled. Two rules apply for the predation process: for a given fish group, prey selection depends both on the spatial and temporal co-occurrence of the predator and its prey, and on the respective lengths of the prey versus the predator. Thus, fish feed regardless of the taxonomy of their prey. The strength of both predation and competition relationships therefore vary according to changes in relative species abundance. Preliminary investigations are conducted on a theoretical community comprising seven interacting species. The simulation results show how community stability can emerge from variability in species biomass. It is thus suggested that size-based trophic interactions, along with the existence of multiple weak links and species redundancy, favour community persistence and stability.