Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 478991
Title Coupled human and natural system dynamics as key to the sustainability of Lake Victoria’s ecosystem services
Author(s) Downing, A.S.; Nes, E.H. van; Balirwa, J.S.; Beuving, J.; Bwathondi, P.O.J.; Chapman, L.J.; Cornelissen, I.J.M.; Cowx, I.G.; Goudswaard, P.C.; Hecky, R.E.; Janse, J.H.; Janssen, A.B.G.; Kaufman, L.; Kishe-Machumu, M.A.; Kolding, J.; Ligtvoet, W.; Mbabazi, D.; Medard, M.; Mkumbo, O.C.; Mlaponi, E.; Munyaho, A.T.; Nagelkerke, L.A.J.; Ogutu-Ohwayo, R.; Ojwang, W.O.; Peter, H.K.; Schindler, D.E.; Seehausen, O.; Sharpe, D.; Silsbe, G.M.; Sitoki, L.; Tumwebaze, R.; Tweddle, D.; Wolfshaar, K.E. van de; Dijk, J.W.M. van; Donk, E. van; Rijssel, J.C. van; Zwieten, P.A.M. van; Wanink, J.; Witte, F.; Mooij, W.M.
Source Ecology and Society 19 (2014)4. - ISSN 1708-3087
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Aquaculture and Fisheries
Wageningen Marine Research
Sociology of Development and Change
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) cyprinid rastrineobola-argentea - perch lates-niloticus - nile perch - east-africa - water hyacinth - mwanza gulf - oreochromis-niloticus - morphological-changes - introduced predator - biological-control
Abstract East Africa’s Lake Victoria provides resources and services to millions of people on the lake’s shores and abroad. In particular, the lake’s fisheries are an important source of protein, employment, and international economic connections for the whole region. Nonetheless, stock dynamics are poorly understood and currently unpredictable. Furthermore, fishery dynamics are intricately connected to other supporting services of the lake as well as to lakeshore societies and economies. Much research has been carried out piecemeal on different aspects of Lake Victoria’s system; e.g., societies, biodiversity, fisheries, and eutrophication. However, to disentangle drivers and dynamics of change in this complex system, we need to put these pieces together and analyze the system as a whole. We did so by first building a qualitative model of the lake’s social-ecological system. We then investigated the model system through a qualitative loop analysis, and finally examined effects of changes on the system state and structure. The model and its contextual analysis allowed us to investigate system-wide chain reactions resulting from disturbances. Importantly, we built a tool that can be used to analyze the cascading effects of management options and establish the requirements for their success. We found that high connectedness of the system at the exploitation level, through fisheries having multiple target stocks, can increase the stocks’ vulnerability to exploitation but reduce society’s vulnerability to variability in individual stocks. We describe how there are multiple pathways to any change in the system, which makes it difficult to identify the root cause of changes but also broadens the management toolkit. Also, we illustrate how nutrient enrichment is not a self-regulating process, and that explicit management is necessary to halt or reverse eutrophication. This model is simple and usable to assess system-wide effects of management policies, and can serve as a paving stone for future quantitative analyses of system dynamics at local scales.
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