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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeOrdinal
Variable Component TypeNatural Resource Unit, Natural Resource System
Variable KindComponent
ThemeResource renewability (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD, Fiji fisheries
QuestionHow productive is the commons? For renewable commons this is often positively associated with levels of rainfall and solar radiation. (e.g., Amazon rainforests have very high productivity, while deserts have low productivity).
Select Options1 Poorly productive, 2 Moderately Productive, 3 Very productive
Unit
Role
ImportanceThe productivity of a system has important implications regarding the range of appropriation/demand at which resource depletion is possible and the incentives to engage in collective action. More productive resources may be able to cope with higher level of resource extraction. This is important to understand in order to inappropriately crediting a particular governance system or actor groups for effectively managing a resource when sustainable outcomes may result in large part from a high level of productivity. Resources with low productivity make significantly more institutional demands on local governance systems.
Definition

"The rate at which a system generates biomass. Primary production is performed by transforming inorganic materials into organic molecules; while secondary production is perfomed by transferring organic materials across trophic levels. Poorly productive: The unit or system produces at very low levels, and cannot withstand much human extraction and use beyond subsistence levels. Moderately Productive: The unit or system produces at moderate levels, and can withstand an equivalently moderate level of human extraction and use. Very productive: The unit or system produces at very high levels, and can withstand extensive human extraction and use, typical of modern large-scale industrial operations, for a period of time."

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used
Borlaug hypothesis and deforestationVery productive
Marginalization and degradationPoorly productive
Land degradation-deforestation hypothesisvery productive
Rational depletion of natural resourcesPoorly productive
Counter-Borlaug Hypothesis of the relationship between Technology and Tropical DeforestationVery productive
TranshumancePoorly productive

Component Usages

ComponentValue UsedExplanation
Galapagos Sea CucumberModerately Productive (2)Sea cucumber fisheries are popular throughout the Indo-Pacific but are prone to over-exploitation. Coded as moderately productive, as their productivity could be considere higher than turtles or whales which have been coded as poorly prodcutive. Low sea cucumber densities do not allow for spawning aggregations necessary for high reproductive rates, resulting in low fertilization rates. Breeding success is directly related to densities of adult individuals, and stocks are consistently below legal threshold. (Hearn et al., 2005)
Forests in IndonesiaVery productive (3)These are moist tropical forests - they are very productive - comparable to Amazon rainforests.
Tigris watershed 
OzonePoorly productive (1)
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaModerately Productive (2)Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna support a fairly large-scale fishery. However, the rate of regeneration is insufficient to cope with modern extraction technologies that have started to lead to declines in resource stocks.
Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Moderately Productive (2)The Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is moderately productive meaning it can sustain a commercial fishery, but at levels far below Eastern Stock. The sustainability of a commercial fishery is contested by some who argue that the stock ought to be listed on CITES.
GBR coral coverVery productive (3)
fish 
GBR target fish 
GBR target fishModerately Productive (2)Most species would be moderate to highly productive. However, some can be very slow growing taking years to mature and reproduce hence the evaluation here that the resource is moderately productive.
Macquarie Island Royal PenguinModerately Productive (2)The royal penguin has in the past supported a commercial harvest mostly for oil. At its peak approximately 150,000 Royal (and King) penguins were harvested and did not appear to substantially affect stocks.
Wakatobi coral coverVery productive (3)Shallow water corals reefs are among the most productive ecosystems of the world
Walt's forest 
Wakatobi fish spawningModerately Productive (2)Lutjanus bohar and Epinephelus fuscoguttatus both have minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years, Plectropomus areolatus is much less productive with a minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years
Galapagos Green TurtlePoorly productive (1)Many eggs lain, however high mortality rate. Also very slow to mature and reproduce.
NWHI Lobster FisheryModerately Productive (2)Lobsters are usually highly productive creatures, with high output of eggs per female, but it depends on the state of the prey-predator abundance, bank topography, and benthic habitat states of the region (Parrish and Polovina, 1994)
Salmon 
Wakatobi Green TurtlePoorly productive (1)Slow maturing, high infant mortality
Light Mantled AlbatrossNot Applicable
NWHI Green TurtlePoorly productive (1)Slow maturing, high infant mortality
Raja Ampat Reef Fish Moderately Productive (2)Most species would be moderate to highly productive. However, some can be very slow growing taking years to mature and reproduce hence the evaluation here that the resource is moderately productive.
Raja Ampat Coral CoverVery productive (3)Shallow water corals reefs are among the most productive ecosystems of the world
Raja Ampat Green TurtlePoorly productive (1)Slow maturing, high infant mortality.
NWHI Trophic DensityModerately Productive (2)Most fish species would be moderate to highly productive. However, some can be very slow growing taking years to mature and reproduce hence the evaluation here that the resource is moderately productive.
California Groundfish HabitatModerately Productive (2)Many groundfish species are very slow growing and take multiple years to mature and reproduce. The kelp forests are very productive, while rocky bottoms are not as productive.
California Rocky Shores Ecosystem HealthVery productive (3)The California rocky shores habitat is one of the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems. More than a thousand species of invertebrates and algae live in Central California’s rocky shores habitats, and many fish, birds, and mammals predate on the species from these habitats (NPS, 2015).
Community C Fish ResourcesModerately Productive (2)494 kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015)
California Humpback WhalePoorly productive (1)Humpback whales mate at about 7 years of age. Females are pregnant for about 11 to 12 months and get pregnant approximately every two to four years (NOAA Fisheries, 2015).
Seaflower groupersMissing
Seaflower coral reefsVery productive (3)Corals are broadcast spawners and they produce a large number of larvae.
Svalbard ShrimpModerately Productive (2)Shrimp take about 6 years to reach maturity. I have not been able to find specific information thus far about population growth rates.
Svalbard BelugaPoorly productive (1)Females produce one calf every 2-3 years, and the population may take many years to recover after a disturbance (Kingsley 1998).
Svalbard Polar Bear The growth of the polar bear populations is relatively slow. On average, female bears in Svalbard do not usually have their first litter until at least 6 years of age, have 1.72 cubs/litter (Derocher 2005), and stay with their cubs for at least a full year (Lono 1970). Cub mortality is estimated at 0.48, which is higher than other polar bear populations (Larsen 1985). There are no reliable population estimates, but Derocher (2005) suggests that changes in age structure, reproductive rates, and body length may be indicators that the population is still recovering from polar bear hunting prior to 1973.
Cenderwasih target fishModerately Productive (2)Most species would be moderate to highly productive. However, some can be very slow growing taking years to mature and reproduce hence the evaluation here that the resource is moderately productive.
Cenderwasih coral coverVery productive (3)Shallow water corals reefs are among the most productive ecosystems of the world
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Bluefin TunaPoorly productive (1)The SBT is long-lived and highly fecund but characteristics such as slow-growth, late onset of sexual maturity (at approximately 11-12 years of age), the presence of a single spawning ground, and highly migratory behaviour (exposing the stock to multiple fishing fleets) make it vulnerable to exploitation and potentially slow to recover from fishing (Collette and Nauen 1983; Pogonoski et al. 2002; BRS 2008; Gunn et al. 2008).
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) BenthosVery productive (3)The life-cycle of poriferans, ascidians and bryozoans, which dominate the biomass of benthic species found in the GABMP, can incorporate phases of both asexual and sexual reproduction. A survey in 2002 established that the macrofaunal communities of the eastern GAB shelf are among the worlds most diverse (with almost 800 invertebrate species being identified from 65 sled tows of 5-minute duration) (Ward et al. 2003). A species accumulation model developed with contemporary grab data suggests that the deep-water infaunal communities of the BPZ slope are more diverse than those found on the shallower waters of the adjacent continental shelf although, infaunal abundance declined with increasing depth (Currie and Sorokin 2011).
King PenguinModerately Productive (2)All populations have been increasing since being overexploited in the 19th and early 20th centuries and most are considered fully recovered and were considered to have recovered fairly quickly once exploitation ceased. Populations at Heard and Kerguelen were slower to recover and are thus still increasing. They have the longest breeding cycle (18 months) of all seabirds (Bost et al. 2013 and references therein).
GBR Green TurtlePoorly productive (1)Green Turtles are long-lived, slow-growing, and late-maturing. Few offspring survive to adulthood. Therefore, the annual growth rate is slow (3.8-11% per year), and recovery following disturbance may take several decades (Chaloupka et al 2008).
Galapagos SharksPoorly productive (1)Many species are long lived and slow to reproduce
Cenderwasih green turtlePoorly productive (1)Slow maturing, high infant mortality
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Right WhalePoorly productive (1)Southern right whales reach sexual maturity at an average of 7 - 8 years of age. Female whales have a gestation period of ~12 months and on average calve every 3 - 4 years. This triennial calving cycle has resulted in cohort structured breeding groups in Australia, with peaks in abundance of the primary breeding group every 3 years. A difference in the calving dynamics at the Head of Bight aggregation, compared to the rest of the south-west population has been reported, with more 4-year inter-calf intervals and fewer 2-year inter-calf intervals recorded than for the wider population (Bannister et al. 2011). The recovery and re-occupancy rates for the south-western population is estimated to be increasing at ~7% per annum (Bannister et al. 2011), which is near or at maximum population growth. The most recent estimated mean increase in the number of southern right whales at the Head of Bight aggregation; using cliff-top count data is ~5.5% per annum (Charlton et al. 2014).
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Sea LionPoorly productive (1)Lower level of fecundity when compared to annually breeding pinnipeds, such as the conspecific NZ fur seal
Patagonian Toothfish Poorly productive (1)Toothfish are not a highly productive fish. Like many deep dwelling fish, their life history characteristics make them vulnerable to overexploitation. They grow relatively slowly, live up to 50 years and mature later in life (10-13 years of age for females; 6-10 years for males). There is also evidence that toothfish may not spawn every year, leading to lower overall fecundity (see Collins et al. 2010 and references therein). Many populations are able to support small commercial fisheries (e.g., 1000-3000 tonnes/year), while others were quickly overexploited in the mid 1990s and early 200s from IUU fishing and have yet to recovery (e.g., BANZARE Bank; McKinlay et al. 2008).
Svalbard KittiwakeModerately Productive (2)Generation length: 12.9 years
Community E Fish ResourcesVery productive (3)1545 kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015)
Community B Fish ResourcesVery productive (3)921 kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015).
Community A Fish ResourcesVery productive (3)575 kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015).
Community D Fish ResourcesModerately Productive (2)502 kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015)
Community F Fish ResourcesModerately Productive (2)458 kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015)
Community H Fish ResourcesVery productive (3)900 kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015)
Community G Fish ResourcesModerately Productive (2)260kg/ha. Values above 507kg/ha were classified as very productive; while values below were classified as moderately productive as this represents approximately 50% of unfished levels for average coral reefs (Macneil et al. 2015)
Patagonian squid (Loligo gahi)Very productive (3)Reproduce twice a year (debated third). Contributes to ecosystem as common prey (consumed by hake, tooth fish, red cod, penguins, marine mammals). Can withstand moderate level of human extraction and use; can be overfished, but also can be harvested at high levels without impeding future generations. Not as high in energy as other fish consumed by predators.
New Zealand Sea Lion 
California market squid (Loligo opalescens)Very productive (3)"Mostly water" according to participants. However, high growth rate, mature early, and reproduce quickly (Jackson and Domeier 2003). The rapid ‘live-fast, die-young’ strategy of squid appears to be due to a unique combination of features that include: (1) efficient digestion coupled with a protein based metabolism; (2) sustaining continued growth using a combination of an increase in muscle fibre size (hypertrophy) along with continual recruitment of new muscle fibres (hyperplasia); (3) efficient use of oxygen and (4) low levels of antioxidative defence (Jackson and O’Dor 2001).
Arrow Squid (Nototodarus spp.)Very productive (3)Important distributor of energy throughout system. Reproduces quickly and in large numbers. New Zealand arrow squid one of few species in New Zealand that is considered very high productivity (Operational Guidelines).