Ecological and evolutionary effects of harvesting: Lessons from the candy-fish experiment

Diaz Pauli B & Heino M (2013). Ecological and evolutionary effects of harvesting: Lessons from the candy-fish experiment. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-13-027

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Abstract

Understanding the challenges of sustainable fisheries management is not easy for non-specialists, and even many specialists fail to appreciate the potential evolutionary consequences of harvest. We propose candy-fish experiments as a savoury approach to teaching and disseminating the key principles of applied ecology and evolution to students, practitioners and the general public. We performed a simple experiment where the resource was represented by fish-shaped candy of distinct colours and flavours (strawberry and liquorice). Typically, harvesting was neither ecologically sustainable (55% of the populations were extinct by the end of the experiment) nor evolutionarily sustainable (most surviving populations had liquorice fish only). This harvest-induced evolution went apparently unnoticed. Somewhat encouragingly, the harvest was most likely ecologically sustainable when a person spontaneously took the role of a stock manager.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Candy-fish; Dissemination; Ecological sustainability; Education; Harvest-induced evolution
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:49
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 17:47
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10733

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