- 1.Loop models of ecological and socio-economic systems were developed to analyse and predict the impact of a possible accidental introduction (escapes) of the abalone Haliotis discus hannai into a benthic community of north-central Chile.
- 2.Although the ‘new’ ecological system resulting from a successful invasion of abalone would be locally stable, the establishment of a self-enhanced dynamic of recruits would transform this into an unstable system.
- 3.The harvest of the kelp, Lessonia trabeculata and other macroalgae is not recommended because this destabilizes the system. The harvest of abalone adults is only sustainable if they do not exert a negative effect upon other native invertebrates.
- 4.The eco-social model showed three important results: (1) if the variables ‘Price’ and ‘Farming’ are in expansion and stationary dynamics, then the models were found unstable; (2) a self-enhanced dynamic of abalone recruits tends toward instability; and (3) the harvest of the kelp L. trabeculata and other macroalgae would be non-sustainable.
- 5.Based on our results, the sustainable development of extensive farming of H. discus hannai in the sea would be not reached. If it is done, an intensive monitoring of the community after introduction into the system is strongly recommended. Likewise, the farming of macroalgal species (source of food for abalone) should be promoted in order to avoid harvesting of macroalgae from natural systems.
Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.