|Dr. Heike K. Lotze
Canada Research Chair in Marine Renewable Resources
|Teaching & Research
marine ecology, renewable resources, coastal ecosystems, human impacts, ecological history, experimental community ecology, ecosystem structure and functioning, management and conservation
y research and teaching in marine ecology is shaped
by a strong interest in human impacts on marine species and ecosystems and their consequences for the ocean and society. Human activities such
as fishing and hunting, habitat transformation, and nutrient loading have
affected marine resources and shaped their ecosystems for millennia but
strongly accelerated over the past 2-3 centuries.
This long-term history of change is often ignored in the study and management of today’s ecosystems. However, historical baselines and estimates of the total magnitude of change are essential to judge the current state of degradation and develop meaningful management and conservation goals. Past trends are also necessary to develop future projections. Human impacts not only accelerated over time but also expanded from inshore regions to the open ocean and the deep sea causing large-scale patterns of changes in diversity and community structure around the globe. Finally, human impacts multiplied throughout history and today, most species and ecosystem are affected by the cumulative effects of multiple human activities that don’t act in isolation.
In my work, I try to reconstruct the long-term history of human-induced changes in marine species and ecosystems, to disentangle the cumulative effects of multiple human activities, and to analyze the consequences of changes on the structure and functioning of ecosystems. I use a multi-disciplinary approach integrating data from paleontology, archaeology, history, fisheries science, and ecology, and a combination of field and laboratory experiments and surveys, literature studies, and the analysis of large data sets.
|Examples of Students' Research
Lotze HK (2012) Sea of Plenty? Historical trends, current issues, and future perspectives on our use of seafood. In: Stewart RS, Karol SA (eds) Food For Thought: A Multidisciplinary Discussion. Cape Breton University Press (in press).
Lotze HK, Coll M, Magera AM, Ward-Paige CA, Airoldi L (2011) Recovery of marine animal populations and ecosystems. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(11): 595-605.
Lotze HK, Erlandson JM, Newman MJ, Norris RD, Roy K, Smith TD, Whitcraft C (2011) Uncovering the ocean’s past. In: Jackson JBC, Sala E, Alexander K (eds) Shifting Baselines: The Past and the Future of Ocean Fisheries. Island Press: 137-162.
Ward-Paige CA, Lotze HK (2011) Assessing the value of recreational divers for censusing elasmobranchs. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25609. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025609
Schmidt AL, Coll M, Romanuk T, Lotze HK (2011) Food-web structure, functioning and ecosystem services in eelgrass (Zostera marina) and rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) beds. Marine Ecology Progress Series 437: 51-68.
Coll M, Schmidt AL, Romanuk, T, Lotze HK (2011) Food-web structure of seagrass communities across different spatial scales and human impacts. PLoS ONE 6(7): e22591. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022591.
Anderson SC, Mills-Flemming J, Watson R, Lotze HK (2011) Rapid global expansion of invertebrate fisheries: trends, drivers and ecosystem effects. PLoS ONE 6(3): e14735. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014735.
Ward-Paige CA, Pattengill-Semmens C, Myers RA, Lotze HK (2011) Spatial and temporal trends in yellow stingray abundance: evidence from diver surveys. Environmental Biology of Fishes 90(3): 263-276.
Lotze HK, Coll M, Dunne J (2011) Historical changes in marine resources, food-web structure and ecosystem functioning in the Adriatic Sea. Ecosystems 14(2): 198-222.
Anderson SC, Mills-Flemming J, Lotze HK (2011) Serial exploitation of global sea cucumber fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 12(3): 317-339.
Worm B, Lotze HK, Jonssen I, Muir C (2010) The Future of Marine Animal Populations. In: MacIntyre AD (ed) Life in the World's Oceans: Diversity, Distribution and Abundance. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford: Chapter 16, 315-330.
Ward-Paige CA, Mora C, Lotze HK, Pattengill-Semmens C, McClenachan L, Arias-Castro E, Myers RA (2010) Large-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean: a footprint of human pressures. PLoS ONE 5(8): e11968. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011968.
McCauley DJ, Micheli F, Young H, Tittensor DP, Brumbaugh D, Madin E, Holmes K, Dunbar R, Smith J, Lotze HK, Arnold, SN, Worm B (2010) Acute effects of removing large fish from a near-pristine coral reef. Marine Biology 157(12): 2739–2750.
Tittensor DP, Mora C, Ricard D, Jetz W, Lotze HK, E. Vanden Berghe, Worm B (2010) Global patterns and drivers of marine biodiversity across taxa. Nature 466: 1098-1101.
Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeek J, Kaschner K, Lasram FBR, Aguzzi1 J, Ballesteros E, Bianchi CN, Corbera J, Dailianis T, Danovaro R, Estrada M, Froglia C, Galil BS, Gaso JM, Gertwagen R, Gil J, Guilhaumon F, Kesner-Reyes K, Kitsos MS, Koukouras A, Lampadariou N, Laxamana E, López-Fé de la Cuadra CM, Lotze HK, Martin D, Mouillot D, Oro D, Raicevich S, Rius-Barile J, Saiz-Salinas JI, San Vicente C, Somot S, Templado J, Turon X, Dimitris V, Villanueva R, Voultsiadou E (2010) Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns and threats. PLoS ONE 5(8): e11842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011842.
Lotze HK (2010) Historical reconstruction of human-induced changes in U.S. estuaries. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 48: 265-336.
Lotze HK, Worm B (2009) Historical baselines for large marine animals. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24 (5): 254-262.
Ferretti F, Myers RA, Serena F, Lotze HK (2008) Losing large predatory sharks from the Mediterranean Sea. Conservation Biology 22: 952-964.
Lotze HK (2005) Radical changes in the Wadden Sea fauna and flora over the last 2000 years. Helgoland Marine Research 59: 71-83.