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Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation$
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John N. Kittinger, Loren McClenachan, Keryn B. Gedan, and Louise K. Blight

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276949

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276949.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Using Disparate Datasets to Reconstruct Historical Baselines of Animal Populations

Using Disparate Datasets to Reconstruct Historical Baselines of Animal Populations

(p.63) Four Using Disparate Datasets to Reconstruct Historical Baselines of Animal Populations
Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation

Francesco Ferretti

Larry B. Crowder

Fiorenza Micheli

University of California Press

When reconstructing long-term changes in marine ecosystems and populations of marine animals, historical data are needed to encompass the natural scale of population dynamics, disentangle short-term variability from longer fluctuations, and describe events that occurred decades or centuries ago. Historical data, however, are often difficult to obtain, vary greatly in format and quality, and were less consistently collected than most modern quantitative data. Concern for incorrectly integrating such different sources of information across long time periods means that many historical datasets are used only in part—or not at all. However, for many locations, such datasets provide the only sources of information on changes to populations or ecosystems. In this chapter, Francesco Ferretti, Larry B. Crowder, and Fiorenza Micheli review methods for accessing and incorporating disparate forms of historical data into quantitative historical reconstructions for marine species. We show how reconstructing historical baselines and documenting long-term changes can provide a powerful means to engage the public and motivate and inform policy reform. We illustrate this approach by highlighting Mediterranean fisheries and historical analyses of sharks and rays, a region and species group characterized by long histories of exploitation.

Keywords:   historical ecology, baselines, endangered species, methods, conservation

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