Size-Based Models of Aquatic Ecosystems: Theory and Practice - a Symposium in Honour of Rob Peters, Part 1
The symposium will focus on how size-based ecosystem models can be used to understand and manage marine and freshwater aquatic systems. Body size is a ubiquitous trait of organisms determining virtually all important physiological and ecological functions. Size-based models of marine ecosystems have been studied for at least 4 decades, however over the last 10 years there has seen much new work demonstrating the utility of this approach in describing, managing and forecasting the behaviour of many aspects of both marine and freshwater systems. For example, such models have provided useful tools for exploring the responses of aquatic systems to exploitation, eutrophication and climate change. Topics to be covered in the symposium include: (i) theory underlying model structure and behaviour – links to the macroecology literature and the pioneering work of Rob Peters; (ii) applications to exploitation management at both the community level and the population level; (iii) new methods (eg hydro-acoustics, telemetry) for estimating size structures in the field; (iv) empirical studies of size structure variation along several (eg climate, nutrient) environmental gradients. We expect participation by ~ 20 scientists actively working in this field. Presentations will cover new research results from North American, South American, European and African systems. AFS members will benefit from this symposium because it will provide a comprehensive overview of this promising approach to aquatic ecosystem management, covering (i) why the approach is effective, (ii) what it can be used for; (iii) its data needs and how to meet them.