Tak’s paper on biodiversity loss and fish production published in Nature Communications

Fish provide essential minerals and proteins for humans, but unsustainable fishing practices have to led to severe declines in fish populations and loss of fish species at local and regional scales. A better understanding of how this species loss affects fish production in marine communities is important for better fisheries management. In Tak’s new paper, dynamic food-web models were used to examine how species loss affects fish production under a variety of scenarios of species loss. Fish production followed a unimodal relationship or a monotonic concave or convex decline with species loss; interestingly, prey of deleted species tended to respond with an increase in production, thus mitigating loss of production in the deleted species.

Fung, T., K. D. Farnsworth, D. G. Reid, and A. G. Rossberg. 2015. Impact of biodiversity loss on production in complex marine food webs mitigated by prey-release. Nature Communications. 6:6657


Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce; Danilo Cedrone; United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Food web

Trophic connections in an example food web generated using the model in the paper