Region-wide changes in marine ecosystem dynamics: state-space models to distinguish trends from step changes

Spencer, M; Mieszkowska, N; Robinson, LA; Simpson, SD; Burrows, MT; Birchenough, SNR; Capasso, E; Cleall-Harding, P; Crummy, J; Duck, C; Eloire, D; Frost, MT; Hall, AJ; Hawkins, SJ; Johns, DG; Sims, DW; Smyth, TJ; Frid, CLJ. 2012 Region-wide changes in marine ecosystem dynamics: state-space models to distinguish trends from step changes. Global Change Biology, 18 (4). 1270 - 1281. 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02620.x

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Abstract/Summary

Regime shifts are sudden changes in ecosystem structure that can be detected across several ecosystem components. The concept that regime shifts are common in marine ecosystems has gained popularity in recent years. Many studies have searched for the step-like changes in ecosystem state expected under a simple interpretation of this idea. However, other kinds of change, such as pervasive trends, have often been ignored. We assembled over 300 ecological time series from seven UK marine regions, covering two to three decades. We developed state-space models for the first principal component of the time series in each region, a common measure of ecosystem state. Our models allowed both trends and step changes, possibly in combination. We found trends in three of seven regions and step changes in two of seven regions. Gradual and sudden changes are therefore important trajectories to consider in marine ecosystems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: benthos; fish; NE Atlantic; North Sea; phytoplankton; regime shifts; rocky shores; seals; state-space model; time series; zooplankton
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Cycling in the Sunlit Ocean
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:11
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5926

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