Work package 1: Ecological vulnerability

In charge: Hamburg University - Institute for Marine Ecosystem and Fishery Science (IMF)

Work package 1 will explore the ecological vulnerability of the North Sea ecosystem and in particular of the North Sea fish community.

This overall goal will be achieved in three steps:

  1. describing and understanding past and future risks of crossing tipping points for the North Sea fish community
  2. assessing the vulnerability of the ecological system to external stressors
  3. understanding the related availability of fisheries resources in the German exclusive economic zone (EEZ)

A range of methods, from systematic reviews to statistical modelling, will be applied. In particular, innovative statistical techniques such as the stochastic cusp model, the integrated resilience assessment and methods to detect early warning signals of change will be applied and combined to estimate vulnerability of the ecological subsystem and the proximity to tipping points. Particularly exciting will be the combination of the ecological results with the socio-cultural and the economic sub-systems, which will create strong collaborations between the different teams and will allow to estimate the vulnerability of the fully coupled socio-ecological system.

In cooperation with the other work packages, the ecological results will be combined with those from the socio-cultural and economic subsystems and thus allow assessing the vulnerability of the overall system.


M1.1Establishment of the database
M1.2Testing and definition of the methodological framework for the change point analysis
M1.3Application of the methodological framework


D1.1Scientific paper on the results of the systematic review on tipping point dynamics in the North Sea ecosystem
D1.2Scientific paper on historical and recent tipping points in North Sea fish community
D1.3Scientific paper on the risk of the North Sea fish community reaching a future tipping point
D1.4Report on the importance of tipping points for fisheries management in the North Sea and the risk of reaching tipping points in the North Sea