A1 Journal article (refereed)
Fishing triggers trophic cascade in terms of variation, not abundance in an allometric trophic network model (2021)

Uusi-Heikkilä, S., Perälä, T., & Kuparinen, A. (2021). Fishing triggers trophic cascade in terms of variation, not abundance in an allometric trophic network model. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Just-IN. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2021-0146

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Uusi-Heikkilä, Silva; Perälä, Tommi; Kuparinen, Anna

Journal or series: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

ISSN: 0706-652X

eISSN: 1205-7533

Publication year: 2021

Volume: Just-IN

Publisher: Canadian Science Publishing

Publication country: Canada

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2021-0146

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79339


Trophic cascade studies often rely on linear food chains instead of complex food webs and are typically measured as biomass averages, not as biomass variation. We study trophic cascades propagating across a complex food web including a measure of biomass variation in addition to biomass average. We examined whether different fishing strategies induce trophic cascades and whether the cascades differ from each other. We utilized an allometric trophic network (ATN) model to mechanistically study fishing-induced changes in food-web dynamics. Different fishing strategies did not trigger traditional, reciprocal trophic cascades, as measured in biomass averages. Instead, fishing triggered a variation cascade that propagated across the food web including fish, zooplankton and phytoplankton species. In fisheries that removed a large amount of top-predatory and cannibalistic fish, the biomass oscillations started to decrease after fishing was started. In fisheries that mainly targeted large planktivorous fish, the biomass oscillations did not dampen, but slightly increased over time. Removing species with specific ecological functions might alter the food web dynamics and potentially affect the ecological resilience of aquatic ecosystems.

Keywords: aquatic ecosystems; fishery; intensive fishing; food chains; food webs; biomass (ecology)

Free keywords: fisheries-induced trophic cascade; food web dynamics; variation cascade; trophic interaction; ecosystem stability

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Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-12-01 at 13:53