Ecological, angler and spatial heterogeneity drive social and ecological outcomes in an integrated landscape model of freshwater recreational fisheries

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Freshwater recreational fisheries constitute complex adaptive social-ecological systems (SES) where mobile anglers link spatially structured ecosystems. We present a general social-ecological model of a spatial recreational fishery for northern pike (Esox lucius) that included an empirically measured mechanistic utility model driving angler behaviors. We studied emergent properties at the macro-scale (e.g., region) as a result of local-scale fish-angler interactions, while systematically examining key heterogeneities (at the angler and ecosystem level) and sources of uncertainty. We offer three key insights. First, the angler population size and the resulting latent reginal angling effort exerts a much greater impact on the overall regional-level overfishing outcome than any residential pattern (urban or rural), while the residential patterns strongly affects the location of local overfishing pockets. Second, simplifying a heterogeneous angler population to a homogenous one representing the preference and behaviours of an average angler risks severely underestimating landscape-level effort and regional overfishing. Third, we did not find that ecologically more productive lakes were more systematically overexploited than lower-productive lakes. We conclude that understanding regional-level outcomes depends on considering four key ingredients: regional angler population size, the angler population composition, the specific residential pattern in place and spatial ecological variation. Simplification of any of these may obscure important dynamics and render the system prone to collapse.

Matsumura, S., Beardmore, B., Haider, W., Dieckmann, U., Arlinghaus, R. (2018). Ecological, angler and spatial heterogeneity drive social and ecological outcomes in an integrated landscape model of freshwater recreational fisheries. bioRxiv, (Preprint)


Veröffentlicht: 2018
Erschienen in: bioRxiv, (Preprint)