New publication: Population variability under stressors is dependent on body mass growth and asymptotic body size

By Leonie Färber*, Rob van Gemert, Øystein Langangen*, Joël M. Durant*, and Ken H. Andersen in Royal Society Open Science. Open Access.


The recruitment and biomass of a fish stock are influenced by their environmental conditions and anthropogenic pressures such as fishing. The variability in the environment often translates into fluctuations in recruitment, which then propagate throughout the stock biomass. In order to manage fish stocks sustainably, it is necessary to understand their dynamics. Here, we systematically explore the dynamics and sensitivity of fish stock recruitment and biomass to environmental noise. Using an age-structured and trait-based model, we explore random noise (white noise) and autocorrelated noise (red noise) in combination with low to high levels of harvesting. We determine the vital rates of stocks covering a wide range of possible body mass (size) growth rates and asymptotic size parameter combinations. Our study indicates that the variability of stock recruitment and biomass are probably correlated with the stock's asymptotic size and growth rate. We find that fast-growing and large-sized fish stocks are likely to be less vulnerable to disturbances than slow-growing and small-sized fish stocks. We show how the natural variability in fish stocks is amplified by fishing, not just for one stock but for a broad range of fish life histories.

R. Soc. open sci 7: 192011
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.192011
Publication webpage.
Published online 26 February 2020

Leonie Färber*, Rob van Gemert§, Øystein Langangen*, Joël M. Durant*, and Ken H. Andersen§

* Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

§ Centre for Ocean Life, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU-Aqua), Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Tags: Royal Society Open Science;
Published Feb. 28, 2020 12:03 PM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2021 9:39 AM