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Abstract

Currently, Maine is in a political struggle over the best way to manage the harvesting of Rockweed, or Ascophyllum nodosum. As the dominant macro algae along the state’s rocky intertidal zone it supports over 150 different species, meaning its loss could impact food web stability, protection of endangered species, and support of economically viable harvests. This work takes parameters found in the literature to create a Stella model, which is then manipulated to explore the relative impact of possible management strategies. It is found that a strictly accurate model is not possible to create given the current biological knowledge and complexity of the species involvement in the overall system. Despite this, a rough model indicates banning mechanical harvesting tools, which decrease the species’ recruitment rate, is unlikely to be as effective a management tool as placing limits on the harvest-able area.

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