We developed numerical simulations of potential future ecological states of the Baltic Sea ecosystem at the end of century under five scenarios. We used a spatial food web (Ecospace) model, forced by a physical-biogeochemical model. The scenarios are built on consistent storylines that describe plausible developments of climatic and socioeconomic factors in the Baltic Sea region. Modelled species diversity and fish catches are driven by climate- and nutrient load-related changes in habitat quality and by fisheries management strategies. Our results suggest that a scenario including low greenhouse gas concentrations and nutrient pollution and ecologically focused fisheries management results in high biodiversity and catch value. On the other hand, scenarios envisioning increasing societal inequality or economic growth based on fossil fuels, high greenhouse gas emissions and high nutrient loads result in decreased habitat quality and diminished biodiversity. Under the latter scenarios catches are high but they predominantly consist of lower-valued fish.
Fields of Science
- 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
- Climate change
- Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE)
- Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP)
- Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP)