Trophic interactions in the coastal ecosystem of Sri Lanka: An ECOPATH preliminary approach

Type Article
Date 2008
Language English
Author(s) Haputhantri S1, Villanueva Ching-MariaORCID2, 3, Moreau J3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Natl Aquat Resources Res & Dev Agcy NARA, Div Marine Biol Res, Crow Island 15, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
2 : IFREMER, Lab Ressources Halieut, F-14520 Port En Bessin Huppain, France.
3 : INPIENSAT, Lab Agron Environm & Ecotoxicol, F-31326 Castanet Tolosan, France.
Source Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (0272-7714) (Elsevier), 2008 , Vol. 76 , N. 2 , P. 304-318
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2007.07.013
WOS© Times Cited 15
Keyword(s) Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean, Fisheries management, Feeding relationships, Trophic level, ECOSIM, ECOPATH, Trophic modelling
Abstract This study attempts to assemble and summarize existing information in order to build a general representation of the trophic interactions within the shallow coastal ecosystem of Sri Lanka. A multispecific ecosystem-based approach on trophic relationships and their possible variations was performed using ECOPATH. Thirty-nine functional groups were considered representing all trophic levels in the food web.

Time-dynamic simulation was carried out using the ECOSIM routine to evaluate the impact of the 1998 El Nino event on key functional groups. Results show that the time needed for any impacted functional group to recover to its initial abundance increased with the trophic level. Two time-series data sets derived from commercial catch and effort statistics were used for validation of ECOSIM results. The El Nino simulation results validated by the time-series data confirmed the ability of the proposed multispecies model to describe the sudden environmental changes.

Possible impacts due to increase of fishing effort were also simulated by separately considering frequently used fishing gears. The analysis revealed that small-mesh gillnet fishery operates independently from the other existing developing fisheries in the same area and can be managed accordingly.

Fishing-effort simulations suggest that the increase of fishing intensity by small-mesh gillnets would contribute to the decline of small pelagic catch. This was also found to influence the overall catch. The present level of exploitation of small pelagic fishery resources does not seem sustainable. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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