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Integrating Ecopath with Ecosim into the MSP software - conceptual design

posted on 02.02.2018, 11:00 authored by Jeroen SteenbeekJeroen Steenbeek
Ecopath International Initiative Research Organization (EII) has been commissioned to conceptualize the integration of the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) food web modelling approach into the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Challenge 2050 software.

The MSP Challenge 2050 serious game is an immersive, three-dimensional software system that educates stakeholders, planners and the general public about trade-offs and environmental consequences of planning decisions in the marine and coastal ecosystem over space and time (Stolte et al., 2013). The ecology component in the MSP software is a simplification of a EwE model of the North Sea based on Mackinson and Daskalov (2007). This food web model was recently reviewed and was deemed unsuitable to deliver useful ecological predictions, even for game purposes
(Steenbeek, 2015). Rather than fixing identified shortcomings in the MSP software, it has been decided to replace the MSP ecology calculations with a direct link to EwE.

This document provides the conceptual design of this linkage from the EwE point of view. A brief overview of EwE and its internal structure is given. Capabilities of EwE to
incorporate MSP player input into its food web dynamics, and the mechanisms to provide game feedback back to MSP, are identified. The essential data flow to and from EwE is explained, and a conceptual communication protocol between MSP and EwE is provided


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