Researchers based at the University of Strathclyde have developed “StrathE2E”, an accessible online app that works to represent the entire interconnected marine ecosystem from physics and chemistry, through microbes and plankton, to whales and fisheries in continental shelf regions. The app has been further developed with funding from the EU Mission Atlantic project and now from NERC ECOWIND, but the system represents about a decade of model development. With food webs simplified into 26 functional guilds, across 3 ocean volumes and 8 shelf sea habitats the App allows a much wider audience to interrogate its functionality and outputs.
StrathE2E simplifies ecology and space to be accessible and with its recent investment, the app is speedy, versatile and adaptable, allowing it to run “what if” experiments and explore uncertainty. It is capable of simulating the effects of up to 12 different fishing fleets and can run return landings, bycatch, discard and seabed abrasion.
It is a tool for big-picture strategic experiments, strategic scoping, and education and is available as an R package if users want full control.
StrathE2E was developed from an earlier version (StrathE2E1), which lacked horizontal spatial resolution and had a more sparse food web. The most radical difference between the two versions concerns the fishing fleet model which is a new development and absent from the earlier version.
StrathE2E1 was horizontally homogeneous, with two vertical water column layers overlying a single homogeneous sediment layer. The StrathE2E2 has the addition of refractory sediment detritus, macrophytes, planktonic larvae stages for benthos guilds, and migratory fish. In addition, the combined ‘birds & mammals’ guild in StrathE2E1 is disaggregated into separates guilds for birds, pinnipeds and cetaceans in StrathE2E2.