Qaecologist Posts http://feed.informer.com/digests/T57DVXB9YH/feeder Qaecologist Posts Respective post owners and feed distributors Mon, 15 Feb 2016 08:40:04 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ We need more data for spatial conservation prioritisation… but which data matter most? [también en español] https://joselahozresearch.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/we-need-more-data-for-spatial-conservation-prioritisation-but-which-data-matter-most-tambien-en-espanol/ José J. Lahoz-Monfort urn:uuid:5751efbd-8fa8-850d-df06-f2931e8b7698 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 04:36:54 +0000 Spatially-explicit conservation decisions rely on having information on where biodiversity assets are (e.g. threatened species), but also the location of threats and habitat condition (e.g. degraded vs pristine habitats). Another important consideration is the cost of acting at different locations &#8230; <a href="https://joselahozresearch.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/we-need-more-data-for-spatial-conservation-prioritisation-but-which-data-matter-most-tambien-en-espanol/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Spatially-explicit conservation decisions rely on having information on where biodiversity assets are (e.g. threatened species), but also the location of threats and habitat condition (e.g. degraded vs pristine habitats). Another important consideration is the <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>cost</strong> </span>of acting at different locations in a landscape: the costs of reserving a piece of land for conservation can vary by orders of magnitude depending on where that land is!</p> <p>Ecological modellers keep claiming that we need to improve the methods we use to estimate the spatial distribution of biodiversity, but the way biodiversity, threats, conditions and costs are used in spatial conservation prioritisation is such that some of these ‘spatial layers’ may have a much stronger influence that others.</p> <p>In our recent <a href="https://besjournals-onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/doi/10.1111/2041-210X.13084" target="_blank" rel="noopener">paper</a> (<em>Kujala, Lahoz-Monfort, Elith, Moilanen (2018) Not all data are equal: Influence of data type and amount in spatial conservation prioritization. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9, 2249–2261</em>) we explore how many layers of each kind are typically used in a spatial conservation prioritisation, and what influence individual layers of different types have on a spatial priority ranking. And, &#8211; surprise, surprise! – <strong>cost layers</strong> tend the be rather uncertain or incomplete, while having a strong influence on the outcome. Should we pay more attention to how we create cost layers?</p> <p>If you find this question relevant and interesting, you might want to have a look at the recent <strong><a href="https://methodsblog.com/2018/11/09/spatial-conservation-planning/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">blog post</a> </strong>that <a href="https://hkujalaresearch.wordpress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Heini Kujala</a> and I recently published in the journal <em>Methods in Ecology &amp; Evolution </em>(MEE)<em>.</em></p> <p>Esta entrada de blog en MEE está también disponible <a href="https://methodsblog.com/2018/11/09/planificacion-espacial-de-la-conservacion/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">en español</a>: <em>En la planificación de la conservación, algunos datos son más importantes que otros.</em></p> https://lucieblandresearch.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/i-have-a-new-online-home-%f0%9f%92%9c/ Lucie Bland's Research urn:uuid:d779b583-7938-696d-bb2f-c1fac0356c81 Mon, 05 Nov 2018 04:00:01 +0000 I&#8217;m super excited to announce that I have a new online home, www.luciebland.com This is my brand new website, filled with tips on academic writing and productivity, including my free Guide to Beating Writer&#8217;s Block — For Good This Time! What can you expect on my new website? I&#8217;ll be delivering weekly blog posts on all &#8230; <a class="more-link" href="https://lucieblandresearch.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/i-have-a-new-online-home-%f0%9f%92%9c/">More <span class="screen-reader-text"> <p>I&#8217;m super excited to announce that I have a new online home, <a href="http://www.luciebland.com">www.luciebland.com</a></p> <p>This is my brand new website, filled with tips on academic writing and productivity, including my free Guide to Beating Writer&#8217;s Block — For Good This Time!</p> <p>What can you expect on my new website?</p> <p>I&#8217;ll be delivering weekly blog posts on all things editing and academic life. You can already check out one of my posts:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.luciebland.com/writing/4-writing-tips-to-finish-your-paper-or-thesis/">4 Writing Tips to Finish Your Paper or Thesis</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.luciebland.com/productivity/monthly-planning-for-sustainable-success/">Monthly Planning for Sustainable Success</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.luciebland.com/editing/what-is-editing/">What is Editing?</a></li> </ul> <p>I also post weekly videos on LinkedIn on productivity (it&#8217;s easy to follow me <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucie-bland-b9049a156">here</a>). Some of it will also be included on my blog, but if you don&#8217;t want to miss out (or just need that productivity nudge every Monday), then best to jump directly to LinkedIn!</p> <p>I&#8217;m wishing you a productivity-filled week ahead,</p> <p>Lucie</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wentworth 2018 – Phelps dominates the preference flows https://mickresearch.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/wentworth-2018-phelps-dominates-the-preference-flows/ Michael McCarthy's Research urn:uuid:4f9cd656-b237-0420-d2fd-9eae61d2d6de Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:43:21 +0000 With the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) counting of Wentworth 2018 nearing its end, we can look at the preference flows to David Sharma and Kerryn Phelps. For this analysis, I took the data from the 35 regular polling places (booths; &#8230; <a href="https://mickresearch.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/wentworth-2018-phelps-dominates-the-preference-flows/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>With the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) counting of Wentworth 2018 nearing its end, we can look at the preference flows to David Sharma and Kerryn Phelps. For this analysis, I took the data from the 35 regular polling places (booths; not pre-polls, hospital teams, or postals), and examined how many of the primary votes forthe other candidates went to Sharma versus Phelps when the preferences were distributed.</p> <p>For example, for the Bondi Surf booth, Sharma got 375 primary votes and 449 votes in total after the flow of preferences (i.e, 74 preferences from voters for the other candidates). For the same booth, Phelps got 459 primary votes and 779 votes in total (320 preferences other voters &#8211; more than 4 times the number of preferences as Sharma).</p> <p>The flow of preferences to Phelps was not as strong in other booths. For example, in Rose Bay Central, Phelps only got about twice as many preferences as Sharma. The differences in the flow of preferences can be largely explained by voters tending to have different voting patterns in the different booths. Voters at the Bondi Surf booth had a greater propensity to vote Green and Labor as their first preference (15% and 10.5% of voters). In Rose Bay Central, candidates for these parties only got 5% of  the primary vote.</p> <p>In a single electorate, it might be reasonable to assume that voters who preference a particular candidate first will have a similar tendency to preference the two leading candidates. That is, Greens voters might tend to preference Phelps over Sharma. While voters for another candidate might tend to preference in a different way.</p> <p>With the <a href="https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionPage-22844-152.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">AEC data available</a>, we can build a statistical model to estimate the degree to which voters for each of the candidates preferenced Sharma ahead of Phelps. This can be analysed as a basic regression model. We use the number of primary votes to each candidate in each booth as the explanatory variable (ignoring Sharma and Phelps because they don&#8217;t receive preferences from their primary votes), and the number of preferences received by Sharma as the response variable. The coefficients for this regression estimate the proportion of voters for each candidate who preferenced Sharma over Phelps.</p> <p>Some candidates received very few votes, so it is difficult to estimate the preference flows from voters for those candidates using this method. However, it is clear that voters for the Greens, Labor and the independent candidate Licia Heath tended to preference Phelps (Phelps was estimated to receive about 80-90% of preferences from these voters).</p> <p>In contrast, voters for the other independent candidate Angela Vithoulkas appeared to flow towards Sharma; the analysis estimated Sharma won around 75% of the preferences from Vithoulkas voters.</p> <p>However, the Greens, Labor and Heath won the vast majority of primary votes that did not go to Sharma or Phelps, so with those voters preferencing Phelps over Sharma, Phelps dominated the preference battle, winning by 4 to 1. At this point it seems to be enough to get her over the line.</p> <p>Finally as an aside, the fit of the model is quite good. The correlation between the number of preferences received by Sharma and the fitted value in the statistical model is 0.99.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> A field ecologist’s adventures in the virtual world: using simulations to design data collection for complex models https://fmthomasresearch.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/a-field-ecologists-adventures-in-the-virtual-world-using-simulations-to-design-data-collection-for-complex-models/ Freya's Research urn:uuid:4171db77-911f-63c4-c000-3645c8ac4000 Sun, 07 Oct 2018 23:43:42 +0000 The third paper from my PhD is soon to be published! It is very satisfying to see this particular chapter in (early view) print!  At an early stage of my PhD, Peter Vesk and I spent a few confusing hours &#8230; <a href="https://fmthomasresearch.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/a-field-ecologists-adventures-in-the-virtual-world-using-simulations-to-design-data-collection-for-complex-models/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>The third paper from my PhD is soon to be published! It is very satisfying to see this particular chapter in (early view) print!<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p>At an early stage of my PhD, Peter Vesk and I spent a few confusing hours attempting to conduct a ‘power analysis’ for our multi-species trait-based non-linear hierarchical growth model, but to no avail. Turns out, it just isn’t quite that easy. This led to some pretty extreme note taking during my many months of fieldwork in Murray Sunset National Park &#8211; where I made sure to collect information relating to the process behind collecting height-growth of multiple species in this semi-arid landscape.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p>Using this information and powered by an extreme determination from this field ecologist to ‘model well’, Cindy Hauser and I spent many solid hours together over about two years crafting a simulation of monstrous proportions. We attempted to simulate my entire fieldwork process, subset this simulated data under various constraining scenarios, analysis all our scenario-driven datasets and evaluate how particular decisions made in the field would effect the precision, accuracy and bias of our modelled growth parameters.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p>The journey was long and contained many dimensions, so it is lovely to see this project in finally in print!<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <div data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_471" style="width: 1306px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img data-attachment-id="471" data-permalink="https://fmthomasresearch.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/a-field-ecologists-adventures-in-the-virtual-world-using-simulations-to-design-data-collection-for-complex-models/field_schem_sm/" data-orig-file="https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=640" data-orig-size="1296,1300" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Field_Schem_Sm" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=640?w=300" data-large-file="https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=640?w=640" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-471" src="https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=640" alt="Field_Schem_Sm" srcset="https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=640 640w, https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=1280 1280w, https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=150 150w, https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=300 300w, https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=768 768w, https://fmthomasresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/field_schem_sm.png?w=1021 1021w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">A colourful schematic of <em>part</em> of our simulation</p></div> <p><strong>Abstract</strong> <span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p>Field data collection can be expensive, time consuming and difficult; insightful research requires statistical analyses supported by sufficient data. Pilot studies and power analysis provide guidance on sampling design but can be challenging to perform, as ecologists increasingly collect multiple types of data over different scales. Despite a growing simulation literature, it remains unclear how to appropriately design data collection for many complex projects.<span class="Apple-converted-space">  </span>Approaches that seek to achieve realism in decision-making contexts, such as management strategy evaluation and virtual ecologist simulations, can help.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p>For a relatively complex analysis, we develop and demonstrate a flexible simulation approach that informs what data are needed and how long those data will take to collect, under realistic fieldwork constraints. We simulated data collection and analysis under different constraint scenarios that varied in deterministic (field trip length, travel and measurement times) and stochastic (species detection and occupancy rates, and inclement weather) features. In our case study, we fit plant height data to a multi-species, three-parameter nonlinear growth model. We tested how the simulated datasets, based on the varying constraint scenarios, affected the model fit (parameter bias, uncertainty and capture rate). Species prevalence in the field exerted a stronger influence on the datasets and downstream model performance than deterministic aspects such as travel times. When species detection and occupancy were not considered, the field time needed to collect an adequate dataset was underestimated by 40%.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p>Simulations can assist in refining fieldwork design, estimating field costs and incorporating uncertainties into project planning. We argue that combining data collection, analysis and decision-making processes in a flexible virtual setting can help address many of the decisions that field ecologists face when designing field-based research. <span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p>The paper is available <a href="https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eap.1801">here</a>.<span class="Apple-converted-space"><br /> Please get in touch if you have any questions / comments! </span></p> Assessing risks to marine ecosystems with the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems https://lucieblandresearch.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/assessing-risks-to-marine-ecosystems-with-the-iucn-red-list-of-ecosystems/ Lucie Bland's Research urn:uuid:a1298b67-bce4-76f8-2ca6-f5b608cf8175 Tue, 04 Sep 2018 00:28:27 +0000 You can read this article Open Source until the 21st of October 2018 here: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Xf4V_9CgQJaj The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems has made some great strides over the last few years, with over 1,500 ecosystems assessed in 90 countries. However, the application of the protocol to offshore marine ecosystems has been lacking. To date, only &#8230; <a class="more-link" href="https://lucieblandresearch.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/assessing-risks-to-marine-ecosystems-with-the-iucn-red-list-of-ecosystems/">More <span class="screen-reader-text">Assessing risks to marine ecosystems with the IUCN Red List of&#160;Ecosystems</span></a> <p><strong>You can read this article Open Source until the 21<sup>st</sup> of October 2018 here: <a href="https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Xf4V_9CgQJaj">https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Xf4V_9CgQJaj</a> </strong></p> <p>The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems has made some great strides over the last few years, with over 1,500 ecosystems assessed in 90 countries. However, the application of the protocol to offshore marine ecosystems has been lacking. To date, only 10% of ecosystems listed on the global Red List belong to the marine realm, and these are mostly coral reefs and coastal ecosystems. Yet current evidence shows that offshore marine ecosystems are at considerable risk from regime shifts, mostly due to fishing and environmental change.</p> <p>It can be difficult to assess risks to marine ecosystems because unlike most terrestrial ecosystems, we cannot simply map their distributions and call it a risk assessment (oh no! a car park has replaced my favourite forest!). We need to look at the functioning of the ecosystem – the different species that inhabit it and how they relate to each other in the food web.</p> <p>Time series data also tend to be less available for marine ecosystems – yes, we have catch data but most often, these data do not truly represent underlying trends in the ecosystem. Long time-series data are particularly important for the ocean due to the <em>shifting baseline syndrome</em> (i.e. a generational skewing in what is perceived as ‘normal’). Marine ecosystems have been modified for hundreds of years, with little trace of what actually happened.</p> <p>I had many challenges to tackle to apply the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems to an offshore marine ecosystem. In 2016, I formed a collaboration with Lynne Shannon and Kate Watermeyer at the University of Cape Town in South Africa (Kate is now a postdoc with us at Deakin). I had read about the southern Benguela – the large ecosystem lining the west and southern coasts of South Africa – and found the case study fascinating.</p> <p>First, the southern Benguela is only one of two similar ecosystems around the African coast. The northern Benguela, located in Namibia, was a very similar upwelling ecosystem until it underwent a regime shift in the 1970s, most likely due to the combined effects of environmental change and fishing. Despite more conservative fisheries management in Namibia, the regime shift has not been reversed to date.</p> <p>The diagram below illustrates some of the changes that occurred in the northern Benguela in the 1970s. First, populations of forage fish (sardines and anchovies) decreased dramatically, leading to a decrease in their predators such as seabirds and Cape fur seals. The forage fish were replaced by pelagic gobies and jellyfish, which aren’t so much to the taste of the predators.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_314" style="width: 4986px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img data-attachment-id="314" data-permalink="https://lucieblandresearch.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/assessing-risks-to-marine-ecosystems-with-the-iucn-red-list-of-ecosystems/rect848/" data-orig-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=748" data-orig-size="4986,1922" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="rect848" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=748?w=300" data-large-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=748?w=748" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-314" src="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=748" alt="rect848" srcset="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=748 748w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=1494 1494w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=150 150w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=300 300w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=768 768w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/rect848.png?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 748px) 100vw, 748px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Changes in the northern Benguela before and after collapse. Figure from Roux et al. (2013). Jellyfication of marine ecosystems as a likely consequence of overfishing small pelagic fishes: lessons from the Benguela. Bulletin of Marine Science, 89(1), 249-284.</figcaption></figure> <p>Knowing what happened to the northern Benguela was key to defining collapse for the southern Benguela. Luckily, Kate had created food web models of both the northern and southern Benguela during her Master&#8217;s degree. The models went far back in time to the 1600s and combined with the extensive knowledge of the current functioning of the southern Benguela formed by Lynne and her group, we had a strong basis for a risk assessment.</p> <p>We pulled everything together: the results from the food web models from 1900 to the present, the time series from surveys, and the catch data. But we were still missing these precious <em>collapse thresholds </em>that enable us to say that an indicator (and thereby an ecosystem) has gone past the state of collapse.</p> <p>To derive the collapse thresholds, we did something that hadn’t been done yet in ecosystem Red Listing: structured expert elicitation. Up to know, collapse thresholds in indicators were often derived from one expert or one study to conduct a Red List assessment (e.g. a coral cover &lt;1% indicates that a coral reef is collapsed). But this wasn’t going to be good enough for an ecosystem as complex as the southern Benguela, with more than 20 indicators to be evaluated.</p> <p>We presented our experts with our definition of what collapse would look like in the southern Benguela (e.g. loss of different functional groups) and asked them to derive collapse thresholds based on data for the southern Benguela and the northern Benguela (pre- and post-collapse). Using the “Investigate, Discuss, Estimate, and Aggregate” method recently published by Hemming et al. (2018), we obtained collapse thresholds and uncertainty bounds for each indicator.</p> <p>Here are some of the main results from our study, looking at indicator change over different timeframes. First, we can see that the percent decline toward collapse (i.e. relative severity) for different indicators tends to be worse over historical timeframes (i.e. 1900 to 1960 or 1900 to 2015). In the last 50 years, many trophic groups have increased or shown signs of recovery. But in the bottom right corner, we can see that seabird biomass has decreased by 66-86% over different time frames (the error bars represent uncertainty in our collapse thresholds).</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_317" style="width: 2125px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img data-attachment-id="317" data-permalink="https://lucieblandresearch.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/assessing-risks-to-marine-ecosystems-with-the-iucn-red-list-of-ecosystems/relsevs/" data-orig-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=748" data-orig-size="2125,1714" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="relsevs" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=748?w=300" data-large-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=748?w=748" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-317" src="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=748" alt="relsevs" srcset="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=748 748w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=1496 1496w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=150 150w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=300 300w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=768 768w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/relsevs.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 748px) 100vw, 748px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Red boxes represent the Critically Endangered category; orange boxes the Endangered category; and yellow boxes the Vulnerable category. MTL: mean trophic level.</figcaption></figure> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite good trends in many indicators, many of the seabird species in the southern Benguela have decreased dramatically due to threats in both in the ocean (e.g. lack of food) and on land (e.g. threats to nesting areas). Seabirds are recognized as good indicators of marine ecosystem health globally as they closely respond to food availability. Our study suggests that focusing on sensitive predator species may be useful for Red List of Ecosystems assessments for marine ecosystems.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_316" style="width: 1550px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img data-attachment-id="316" data-permalink="https://lucieblandresearch.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/assessing-risks-to-marine-ecosystems-with-the-iucn-red-list-of-ecosystems/african-penguin-1550x804/" data-orig-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=748" data-orig-size="1550,804" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="african-penguin-1550&#215;804" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=748?w=300" data-large-file="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=748?w=748" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-316" src="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=748" alt="african-penguin-1550x804" srcset="https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=748 748w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=1496 1496w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=150 150w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=300 300w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=768 768w, https://lucieblandresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/african-penguin-1550x804.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 748px) 100vw, 748px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The African penguin is also listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, indicating some congruence between the results of the two Red lists.</figcaption></figure> <p>Overall, we listed the southern Benguela as Endangered in both 2015 and 1960 (we did a retrospective assessment based on our historical data). However, this over-arching assessment hides subtle changes in different indicators and ecosystem functioning: many trophic groups are now healthier than in the 1960s and fishing has generally reduced, but the dismal state of seabirds skews the assessment towards a threatened category.</p> <p>Our study shows that it is possible to assess risks to marine ecosystems: we need a strong definition of collapse, which can be based on other similar systems; good time series data, from either models or surveys; and ecosystem experts that can bring all this knowledge together into a sound, repeatable risk assessment.</p> <p><strong>You can read this article Open Source until the 21<sup>st</sup> of October 2018 here: <a href="https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Xf4V_9CgQJaj">https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Xf4V_9CgQJaj</a> </strong></p> <p><strong>General link:</strong> <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000632071731501X#ec0005">https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000632071731501X#ec0005</a></p>