Timothy E Essington

Timothy E Essington
University of Washington Seattle | UW · School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences

About

203
Publications
61,753
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
10,918
Citations

Publications

Publications (203)
Article
Full-text available
Although species distribution models (SDMs) are commonly used to hindcast fine-scale population metrics, there remains a paucity of information about how well these models predict future responses to climate. Many conventional SDMs rely on spatially-explicit but time-invariant conditions to quantify species distributions and densities. We compared...
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge in sustainability science is identifying targets that maximize ecosystem benefits to humanity while minimizing the risk of crossing critical system thresholds. One critical threshold is the biomass at which populations become so depleted that their population growth rates become negative—depensation. Here, we evaluate how the valu...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid pace of ocean change has prompted a need to forecast likely future species distributions. Species distribution models are often categorized as either correlative (statistical) or mechanistic, and each has limitations both for advancing understanding and for prediction. Here we sought to benefit from mechanistic understanding of how and wh...
Article
Full-text available
Interest is growing in developing conservation strategies to restore and maintain coral reef ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic stressors, particularly climate warming and associated mass bleaching events. One such approach is to propagate coral colonies ex situ and transplant them to degraded reef areas to augment habitat for reef‐de...
Article
Full-text available
The use of species distribution models (SDMs) has rapidly increased over the last decade, driven largely by increasing observational evidence of distributional shifts of terrestrial and aquatic populations. These models permit, for example, the quantification of range shifts, the estimation of species co-occurrence, and the association of habitat t...
Article
Fisheries for forage fish may affect the survival and reproduction of piscivorous predators, especially seabirds. However, seabirds have evolved life history strategies to cope with natural fluctuations in prey and it is difficult to separate effects of fishing on seabirds from impacts of natural variability. To date, potential impacts of forage fi...
Article
Full-text available
Corals are experiencing unprecedented decline from climate change-induced mass bleaching events. Dispersal not only contributes to coral reef persistence through demographic rescue but can also hinder or facilitate evolutionary adaptation. Locations of reefs that are likely to survive future warming therefore remain largely unknown, particularly wi...
Article
Full-text available
Global environmental change is challenging species with novel conditions, such that demographic and evolutionary trajectories of populations are often shaped by the exchange of organisms and alleles across landscapes. Current ecological theory predicts that random networks with dispersal shortcuts connecting distant sites can promote persistence wh...
Article
Nearshore areas represent important habitats for many species, at least for part of their life cycle. Therefore, modeling and mapping nearshore habitats is essential for natural resource management and conservation, such as determining potential impacts to marine populations and their habitats from human activities and identifying conservation meas...
Article
Full-text available
Diet-based annual biomass indices can potentially use predator stomach contents to provide information about prey biomass and may be particularly useful for species that are otherwise poorly sampled, including ecologically important forage fishes. However, diet-based biomass indices may be sensitive to underlying ecological dynamics between predato...
Preprint
Full-text available
Corals are experiencing unprecedented decline from climate change-induced mass bleaching events. Dispersal not only contributes to coral reef persistence through demographic rescue but can also hinder or facilitate evolutionary adaptation. Locations of reefs that are likely to survive future warming therefore remain largely unknown, particularly wi...
Article
Full-text available
Recent observations of record low winter sea-ice coverage and warming water temperatures in the eastern Bering Sea have signaled the potential impacts of climate change on this ecosystem, which have implications for commercial fisheries production. We investigate the impacts of forecasted climate change on the eastern Bering Sea food web through th...
Article
Median timing of reproduction in salmonid populations is generally consistent among years, reflecting long-term patterns of natural selection from characteristics of the local environment. However, altered selection from factors related to climate change or human intervention might shift timing over generations, with implications for the population...
Article
Full-text available
In coastal marine ecosystems, the depletion of dissolved oxygen can cause behavioral and distributional shifts of organisms and thereby alter ecological processes. We used the spatio‐temporal variation in the onset and intensity of low dissolved oxygen in Hood Canal, WA to investigate consequences of seasonally reduced oxygen on fish‐zooplankton pr...
Article
Full-text available
Asynchronous fluctuations in abundance between species with similar ecological roles can stabilize food webs and support coexistence. Sardine (Sardinops spp.) and anchovy (Engraulis spp.) have long been used as an example of this pattern because low-frequency variation in catches of these species appears to occur out of phase, suggesting that fishe...
Article
Full-text available
Structured, systematic processes for decision-making can facilitate implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM). In U.S. fisheries management, existing Fishery Ecosystem Plans (FEPs) are primarily descriptive documents – not action-oriented planning processes. “Next-generation” FEPs extend existing FEPs by translating ecosystem pr...
Article
Full-text available
In light of recent recoveries of marine mammal populations worldwide and heightened concern about their impacts on marine food webs and global fisheries, it has become increasingly important to understand the potential impacts of large marine mammal predators on prey populations and their life-history traits. In coastal waters of the northeast Paci...
Article
Recreational fisheries are valued at $190B globally and constitute the predominant way in which people use wild fish stocks in developed countries, with inland systems contributing the main fraction of recreational fisheries. Although inland recreational fisheries are thought to be highly resilient and self-regulating, the rapid pace of environment...
Article
Full-text available
With the anticipated boom in the 'blue economy' and associated increases in industrialization across the world's oceans, new and complex risks are being introduced to ocean ecosystems. As a result, conservation and resource management increasingly look to factor in potential interactions among the social, ecological and economic components of these...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystems around the world are reorganizing due to climate change¹, motivating management responses to facilitate species persistence and maintain ecological functions. Spatial management actions are generally undertaken to relieve local stressors on populations and have recently been suggested as an approach to facilitate species range shifts, pr...
Article
It is broadly assumed that organisms inhabiting seasonally hypoxic estuaries and fjords are stressed by low dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions. However, relatively few zooplankton have shown clear avoidance of hypoxic water except when oxygen was extremely low. We investigated vertical distributions and abundance of the euphausiid Euphausia pacifica...
Data
Funding received by RH during the 5 years prior to publication of this article. (XLSX)
Article
The appetite for ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) approaches has grown, but the perception persists that implementation is slow. Here, we synthesize progress toward implementing EBFM in the United States through one potential avenue: expanding fish stock assessments to include ecosystem considerations and interactions between species, fl...
Article
1.Understanding population fluctuations is a major goal of population ecology. In unpredictable marine environments, population variation is thought to be caused primarily by varying survival rates through a critical early life history stage. However, there is increasing evidence that somatic growth variation is common and causes population fluctua...
Article
Ecosystem‐based fishery management requires considering the effects of actions on social, natural and economic systems. These considerations are important for forage fish fisheries, because these species provide ecosystem services as a key prey in food webs and support valuable commercial fisheries. Forage fish stocks fluctuate naturally, and fishi...
Article
Marine ecosystems are experiencing rapid changes driven by anthropogenic stressors which, in turn, are affecting human communities. One such stressor is ocean acidification, a result of increasing carbon emissions. Most research on biological impacts of ocean acidification has focused on the responses of an individual species or life stage. Yet, un...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Salish Sea Pacific Herring Assessment and Management Strategy Team. 2018. Assessment and Management of Pacific Herring in the Salish Sea: Conserving and Recovering a Culturally Significant and Ecologically Critical Component of the Food Web. The SeaDoc Society, Orcas Island, WA. 74 pp.
Technical Report
Full-text available
To advance conservation and management of Pacific herring in the Salish Sea, an Assessment and Management Strategy Team (the Team) was convened, composed of representatives from government agencies from Washington and BC; social and natural scientists from universities, First Nations, and Tribes; and other stakeholders. The Team performed an expert...
Article
Full-text available
Aquaculture is supporting demand and surpassing wild-caught seafood. Yet, most fed aquaculture species (finfish and crustacea) rely on wild-captured forage fish for essential fatty acids and micronutrients, an important but limited resource. As the fastest growing food sector in the world, fed aquaculture demand will eventually surpass ecological s...
Article
Full-text available
U.S. fisheries management has made tremendous strides under the current management framework, which centers on single stocks rather than ecosystems. However, conventional management focuses on one fishing sector at a time, considers a narrow range of issues, and is separated into individual fishery management plans often leaving little opportunity...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a multi-model approach to explore how abundance of a forage fish (Pacific sardine Sardinops sagax) impacts the ecosystem and predators in the California Current, a region where sardine and anchovy Engraulis mordax have recently declined to less than 10% of contemporary peak abundances. We developed or improved applications of three ecosy...
Article
Full-text available
Predation can play an important role in population, community and ecosystem processes. When predator guilds are diverse, fluctuations in individual predator populations may have small influences on the guild at large, suggesting that predator diversity stabilizes the amount of predation prey experience. The strength of this phenomenon depends on ho...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem approaches to natural resource management are seen as a way to provide better outcomes for ecosystems and for people, yet the nature and strength of interactions among ecosystem components is usually unknown. Here we characterize the economic benefits of ecological knowledge through a simple model of fisheries that target a predator (pisc...
Article
Forage fish undergo dramatic changes in abundance through time. Long-term fluctuations, which have historically been attributed to changes in recruitment, may also be due to changes in adult mortality. Pacific herring, a lightly exploited forage fish in Puget Sound, WA, have exhibited shifts in age structure and decreases in spawning biomass during...
Article
Forage fish generate economic benefits through directed fisheries, but also generate benefits through their role as prey to other valued species (large piscivorous fish, seabirds, and marine mammals). Previous evaluations of the ecosystem consequences of forage fish fisheries used models with coarse taxonomic resolution of forage fish and their pre...
Article
Forage fish are a vital part of marine ecosystems, partly by supporting some of the largest fisheries worldwide, but also due to their role in food webs as prey for larger fish and other predators. One of the unresolved questions about forage fish dynamics is the causes of their significant temporal fluctuations. These fluctuations are often attrib...
Article
Populations of sardine, anchovy, and other forage species can fluctuate to low levels due to climate variability and fishing, leading to indirect effects on marine food webs. In the context of recent declines of sardine (Sardinops sagax) and anchovy (Engraulis mordax) in the California Current, we apply an end-to-end Atlantis ecosystem model that i...
Article
Researchers have long recognized the importance of ecological differences at the species level in structuring natural communities yet until recently have often overlooked the influence of intraspecific trait variation, which can profoundly alter community dynamics [1]. Human extraction of living resources can reduce intraspecific trait variation by...
Article
Full-text available
Despite evidence that mobile bottom fishing gear causes physical damage to habitat-forming organisms on the seafloor, likely indirectly affecting associated fishes, it is difficult to determine how conservation and management policies influence such effects because researchers do not typically systematically quantify the extent and intensity of gea...
Article
Population endangerment typically arises from multiple, potentially interacting anthropogenic stressors. Extensive research has investigated the consequences of multiple stressors on organisms, frequently focusing on individual life stages. Less is known about population-level consequences of exposure to multiple stressors, especially when exposure...
Article
Full-text available
Resource managers and policy makers have long recognized the importance of considering fisheries in the context of ecosystems; yet, movement towards widespread Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management (EBFM) has been slow. A conceptual reframing of fisheries management is occurring globally, which envisions fisheries as systems with interacting biophys...
Article
Management strategies for fisheries typically do not account for environmental stressors, such as hypoxia (dissolved oxygen < 2 mg·L−1). Hypoxia can lead to shoaling of organisms into normoxic habitats, enhancing catchability, which could reduce the performance of fishery management strategies. Here, we conducted a management strategy evaluation of...
Article
Full-text available
Marine fisheries science is a broad field that is fundamentally concerned with sustainability across ecological, economic, and social dimensions. Ensuring the delivery of food, security, equity, and well-being while sustaining ecosystems in the face of rapid change is, by far, the main challenge facing marine fisheries. A tighter integration of mod...
Article
The benefits and ecosystem services that humans derive from the oceans are threatened by numerous global change stressors, one of which is ocean acidification. Here, we describe the effects of ocean acidification on an upwelling system that already experiences inherently low pH conditions, the California Current. We used an end-to-end ecosystem mod...
Article
Full-text available
Hypoxia can cause significant disturbances in aquatic ecosystems, but the impacts of moderately low dissolved oxygen (DO) where physiological tolerance levels vary among orga - nisms and likely have consequences for key food web linkages are not well understood. We hypo - thesized that the greater sensitivity of fish to DO, compared with their zoop...
Article
An ecosystem approach to forage fish management is required because forage fish support large fisheries, are prey for many valued species in marine food webs, and provide important social and cultural benefits to humans. Complex ecosystem models are often used to evaluate potential ecosystem consequences of forage fish fisheries, but there is seldo...
Article
Understanding the role of forage fish in marine food webs is an important part of ecosystem-based fisheries management. Food web models are a common tool used to account for important characteristics of forage fish and their trophodynamics. One primary limitation of many existing food web models is that the taxonomic resolution of forage fish and t...
Article
Stomach content data are frequently used to characterize predator feeding habits, often by describing the proportional contribution by mass or number of each prey type (diet fractions). These data pose several statistical challenges for analysis and estimation that have hindered our ability to create quantitative diet fraction estimates from stomac...
Article
Understanding the role of forage fish in marine food webs is an important part of ecosystem-based fisheries management. Food web models are a common tool used to account for important characteristics of forage fish and their trophodynamics. One primary limitation of many existing food web models is that the taxonomic resolution of forage fish and t...
Article
Full-text available
Species are experiencing a suite of novel stressors from anthropogenic activities that have impacts at multiple scales. Vulnerability assessment is one tool to evaluate the likely impacts that these stressors pose to species so that high-vulnerability cases can be identified and prioritized for monitoring, protection, or mitigation. Commonly used s...
Article
Although ecosystem-based fisheries management is often associated with trade-offs between conflicting demands for ecosystem services, the holistic ecological considerations the approach promotes may sometimes lead to novel solutions that benefit both conservation and fisheries. Directed fishing on large piscivorous fish can reduce predation on prey...
Article
Individual quota (IQ) management systems in commercial marine fisheries are highly diverse, differing in the security, durability and exclusivity of the harvesting privilege and the transferability of quota units. This diversity in the degree of harvest rights may influence the effectiveness of IQ fisheries to meet management objectives. We conduct...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Lenfest Fishery Ecosystem Task Force, convened with support from the Lenfest Ocean Program, consists of 14 researchers pre-eminent in the sciences that support fisheries management. The purpose of the Task Force was to provide a blueprint for FEPs, with the goal of providing guidance to managers on implementing EBFM. The Task Force charge focus...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem modeling is becoming an integral part of fisheries management, but there is a need to identify differences between predictions derived from models employed for scientific and management purposes. Here, we compared two models: a biomass-based food-web model (Ecopath with Ecosim) and a size structured fish community model. The models were c...
Article
Hypoxia [dissolved oxygen (DO) < 2mg L(-1)] is a major environmental perturbation for many aquatic ecosystems, particularly highly productive estuaries. Most research attention and understanding about the impacts of hypoxia on estuarine species has focused on the benthos, where hypoxia is most common. Although, the pelagic zone is also susceptible...
Article
Full-text available
Length–weight relationships (LWRs) were developed for 85 reef and bottom-fish species from Guam. These are the first published LWRs for Guam, and include new LWRs for nine species lacking these relationships in FishBase.
Article
Full-text available
As climatic changes and human uses intensify, resource managers and other decision makers are taking actions to either avoid or respond to ecosystem tipping points, or dramatic shifts in structure and function that are often costly and hard to reverse. Evidence indicates that explicitly addressing tipping points leads to improved management outcome...
Article
Full-text available
In response to our recent paper (1), Szuwalski and Hilborn (2) make several points about the timing of recruitment failures, the effect of fishing on productivity, and our choice of using biomass, not recruitment, as the indicator for collapses. We address these points here to show that not only do they not affect our conclusions, but that we are l...
Article
Ecosystem-based fisheries management seeks to consider trade-offs among management objectives for interacting species, such as those that arise through predator-prey linkages. In particular, fisheries-targeting forage fish (small and abundant pelagic fish) might have a detrimental effect on fisheries-targeting predators that consume them. However,...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding demographic variation in recruitment and somatic growth is key to improving our understanding of population dynamics and forecasting ability. Although recruitment variability has been extensively studied, somatic growth variation has received less attention, in part because of difficulties in modeling growth from individual size-at-ag...