Seminar Details

Ten principles from evolutionary ecology essential for effective marine conservation




Prof. Marc Mangel - Dept. of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, University of California, Santa Cruz


Sustainably managing human intervention with marine species is crucial for the future health of both natural and human populations. Yet there are diverse perspectives concerning which species can be exploited sustainably, and how best to do so. In this talk, I will review ten principles from evolutionary ecology that are important for understanding human effects on marine species. They are 1) population growth and density dependence can be modeled in several ways; 2) carrying capacity is just one of many possible state determined by the environment and biology of a species; 3) the compensatory capacity of populations relies on density dependent regulation; 4) life history traits are integral to a population’s compensatory capacity; 5) metrics of individual fitness are useful indicators of the productivity of a population; 6) high fecundity and high-quality eggs are not enough for sustainability; 7) large biomass of a population does not protect it from collapse; 8) long life spans evolved for a reason; 9) Allee effects are hard to detect but should not be ignored; and 10) spatial planning (marine protected areas) should be informed by life histories. I will illustrate the principles with simple models and examples from a variety of marine species. Biography: Marc Mangel is Distinguished Professor of Mathematical Biology Emeritus at the University of California Santa Cruz and Professor of Biology Emeritus in the Theoretical Ecology Group, Department of Biology at the University of Bergen. Prior to moving to UCSC in 1996, Mangel was on the faculty at UC Davis (1980-1996), where he founded the Center for Population Biology, which thrives to this day. Mangel’s first job out of graduate school was doing operations analysis for the US Navy in the Operations Evaluation Group. Mangel’s work in fish and fisheries has focused on Sebastes, Salmonids (both Pacific and Atlantic), and Southern Ocean and west coast Euphausiids (krill). His work generally combines life history and population dynamics modeling with empirical (laboratory or field) information with the goal of informing both theory and empirical work.

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