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Viola Alms

Institution: Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
Room: ZMT, room 3116
Phone: +49 421 23800-0
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Other webpage(s): Viola's ZMT web page



Viola Alms

PhD project:

Modeling two decades of change of the Nicoya gulf (Costa Rica) ecosystem: Implications for future management

Coastal waters and estuaries are often highly productive and support many essential fisheries worldwide and thus are often regions of high economic value. The Gulf of Nicoya is the fisheries hotspot of Costa Rica, a highly productive estuary at the Pacific coast of the country. The small-scale artisanal fishery is the main source of income for most of the coastal communities distributed around the Gulf of Nicoya. Overfishing is regarded to cause the greatest impact on the marine ecosystem, revealed by a decline of the total volume of fisheries products in Costa Rica.

Fisheries studies concerning commercially exploited species within the area are sparse and since the trophic model constructed by Prof. Dr. Wolff and co-workers in the mid 1990ties, the information has not been updated and integrated. It can be assumed that several changes in the past two decades have led to developments in the Gulf of Nicoya that make it necessary to revise the model and compare the two states of the ecosystem. Hence the focus of this project is to rebuild and updated the trophic model, using the Ecopath with Ecosim software, to assess ecosystem changes and their drivers in the last two decades. The models can serve as the basis for various simulations and the exploration of suitable future management strategies.

Thesis committee:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Wolff Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
Prof. Dr. Achim Schlüter Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
PD Dr. Hauke Reuter Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
GLOMAR Research Theme C