Ecosystem Modelling

Modello End-to-End ATLANTIS

Atlantis is an ecosystem box-model intended for use in Management Strategy Evaluation. It has been applied to multiple marine systems (from single bays to millions of square kilometres) such as Australia, United States. North Sea, Baltic Sea, Iceland, South Africa and other environments. At the centre of the model, a deterministic biophysical submodel is spatially-resolved in three dimensions The physical environment is also represented explicitly – via a set of polygons matched to the major geographical and bioregional features of the simulated marine system. Atlantis also features a detailed exploitation model. This model deals with the impact of pollution, coastal development and broad-scale environmental changes.


The Sicily of Strait version is focused on the detailed dynamics of fishing fleets. It allows for multiple fleets, each with its own characteristics (regarding gear selectivity, habitat association, targeting, effort allocation and management structures). Atlantis for the Strait of Sicily provides a useful tool for identifying the interactions between natural and anthropogenic pressures, assess their effects on the ecosystem, to compare the potential consequences (biological, social and economical) and trade-offs derived from the application of alternative management scenarios. In particular the model was developed to:

  • describe the structure and functioning of the whole trophic web and the interactions with environmental forcing, in particular focusing on commercially important species;

  • model the effect of climatic or man-induced changes on marine habitats and ecosystem;

  • assess socio-economic vulnerabilities and evaluate how potential climate-driven physical and biological changes may affect relevant economic activities and human welfare;

  • identify trade-offs related to the application of different management scenarios (e.g. gear restrictions, spatial or temporal closure schemes, etc).