Abstract

Based on four published mass-balanced ecosystem models from coastal zones, we studied the relationships of stability to some characteristics in ecosystems. Three attributes of stability, persistence, magnitude of changes in biomass and resilience, were analyzed using the ecopath and ecosim software. For each published model, five versions were obtained by randomly modifying connectance to change complexity. Simulation experiments were performed over 60 years and then stability attributes quantified. We found complexity was not closely related to stability. A high number of pools made the system less resilient, and a high connectance made them more resilient and more persistent. Our results suggest that ecosystems with generalist feeding species, without a preferred prey, have increased recovery time and more obvious disturbances. No clear effect was found when different trophic levels were disturbed in an ecosystem.

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