Building a Fisheries Trophic Interaction Database for Management and Modeling Research in the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem
Development of ecosystem-based fisheries management models depends, to a large extent, on the availability of trophic interaction data. These models could address ecological questions, examine ecosystem trophic structure, and be used in placement analysis for marine protected areas, among other uses. Many studies on fish trophic interactions have been conducted in the gulf of mexico over the past 120 yrs, and we are currently compiling data from these studies into a database. Here, we report on a collection of 747 references, investigate spatial and taxonomic distributions of the fish species examined, and identify data gaps. Metadata lite, a condensed version of customary metadata that answers the who, what, where, when, and why, has been collected on all studies, all references have been geocoded, and habitat characterizations have been standardized using the coastal and marine ecological classification standard for about 60% of the references. Visualization tools and products to assist in the synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of the data, including maps, network depictions, and dynamic interactions, are discussed. A survey of trophic data available for fisheries management models for managed species in us gulf waters appear to be adequate for at least 23 of 50 of managed species, while data for at least 14 species remain insufficient for model development assessment.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2013
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