Modelling dynamic ecosystems: venturing beyond boundaries with the Ecopath approach

Akoğlu, Ekin
Shannon, L. J.
Christensen, V.
Thirty years of progress using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) approach in different fields such as ecosystem impacts of fishing and climate change, emergent ecosystem dynamics, ecosystem-based management, and marine conservation and spatial planning were showcased November 2014 at the conference "Ecopath 30 years-modelling dynamic ecosystems: beyond boundaries with EwE". Exciting new developments include temporal-spatial and end-to-end modelling, as well as novel applications to environmental impact analyses, in both aquatic and terrestrial domains. A wide range of plug-ins have been added to extend the diagnostic capabilities of EwE, and the scientific community is applying EwE to a diversified range of topics besides fishing impact assessments, such as the development of scientific advice for management, the analysis of conservation issues, and the evaluation of cumulative impacts of environmental and human activities in marine food webs (including habitat modification and the invasion of alien species). Especially promising is the new potential to include the EwE model in integrated assessments with other models such as those related to climate change research. However, there are still many challenges, including the communication of scientific results in management procedures. In addition, other important scientific issues are how to improve model result validation and perform model quality control. During the conference, the Ecopath International Research and Development Consortium was presented as a way for the EwE user community to become involved in the long-term sustainability of the EwE approach. Overall, exciting times are facing the ecosystem modelling scientific community, and as illustrated by the conference: synergistic cooperation is the future path for the EwE approach.


Making ecological indicators management ready: Assessing the specificity, sensitivity, and threshold response of ecological indicators
Akoğlu, Ekin; Bundy, Alida; Grüss, Arnaud; Coll, Marta; Heymans, Johanna J.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Shannon, Lynne; Halouani, Ghassen; Velez, Laure; Akoğlu, Ekin; Lynam, Christopher P.; Shin, Yunne-Jai (2019-10-01)
Moving toward ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) necessitates a suite of ecological indicators that are responsive to fishing pressure, capable of tracking changes in the state of marine ecosystems, and related to management objectives. In this study, we employed the gradient forest method to assess the performance of 14 key ecological indicators in terms of specificity, sensitivity and the detection of thresholds for EBFM across ten marine ecosystems using four modelling frameworks (Ecopath with E...
European Union Basin-scale Analysis, Synthesis and Integration (EURO-BASIN)
Salihoğlu, Barış(2014-12-30)
EURO-BASIN is designed to advance our understanding on the variability, potential impacts, and feedbacks of global change and anthropogenic forcing on the structure, function and dynamics of the North Atlantic and associated shelf sea ecosystems as well as the key species influencing carbon sequestering and ecosystem functioning. The ultimate goal of the program is to further our capacity to manage these systems in a sustainable manner following the ecosystem approach. Given the scope and the international ...
Adaptive strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change on European freshwater ecosystems (REFRESH)
Beklioğlu, Meryem(2014-1-31)
Understanding how freshwater ecosystems will respond to future climate change is essential for the development of policies and implementation strategies needed to protect aquatic and riparian ecosystems. The future status of freshwater ecosystems is however, also dependent on changes in land-use, pollution loading and water demand. In addition the measures that need to be taken to restore freshwater ecosystems to good ecological health or to sustain priority species as required by EU Directives need to be d...
EwE-F 1.0: an implementation of Ecopath with Ecosim in Fortran 95/2003 for coupling and integration with other models
Akoğlu, Ekin; FACH SALİHOĞLU, BETTİNA ANDREA; Oguz, T.; Solidoro, C. (2015-01-01)
Societal and scientific challenges foster the implementation of the ecosystem approach to marine ecosystem analysis and management, which is a comprehensive means of integrating the direct and indirect effects of multiple stressors on the different components of ecosystems, from physical to chemical and biological and from viruses to fishes and marine mammals. Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) is a widely used software package, which offers capability for a dynamic description of the multiple interactions occurring...
Modeling the impact of climate variability on Black Sea anchovy recruitment and production
Güraslan, Ceren; Fach Salihoğlu, Bettina Andrea; Oğuz, Temel (2014-09-01)
The connection of climate variability with anchovy spawning and recruitment in the Black Sea in particular, and other ecosystems in general, was studied using a two-way coupled lower trophic level and anchovy bioenergetics model. Climate variability was represented by a 50-yr time series of daily temperature and vertical mixing rates with stochastic variations. Temperature was found to be the dominant factor influencing early life stages and hence population dynamics of Black Sea anchovy as marked by a high...
Citation Formats
M. COLL et al., “Modelling dynamic ecosystems: venturing beyond boundaries with the Ecopath approach,” REVIEWS IN FISH BIOLOGY AND FISHERIES, pp. 413–424, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: