Estimating Synaphobranchus kaupii densities: Contribution of fish behaviour to differences between bait experiments and visual strip transects

Type Article
Date 2011-01
Language English
Author(s) Trenkel VerenaORCID1, Lorance PascalORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, F-44311 Nantes 3, France.
Source Deep-sea Research Part I-oceanographic Research Papers (0967-0637) (Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd), 2011-01 , Vol. 58 , N. 1 , P. 63-71
DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2010.11.006
WOS© Times Cited 11
Keyword(s) Bayesian, Hierarchical model, Natural and reaction behaviour, Video, Deep-water
Abstract Kaup's arrowtooth eel Synaphobranchus kaupii is a small-bodied fish and an abundant inhabitant of the European continental slope. To estimate its local density video information using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Victor 6000 were collected at three locations in the Bay of Biscay slope. Two methods for estimating local densities were tested: strip transect counts and bait experiments. For bait experiments three behaviour types were observed in about equal proportions for individuals arriving near the seafloor: moving up the current towards the ROV, moving across the current and drifting with the current. Visible attraction towards the bait was the highest for individuals swimming against the current (80%) and about equally low for the other two types (around 30%); it did not depend on current speed nor temperature. Three main innovations were introduced for estimating population densities from bait experiments: (i) inclusion of an additional behaviour category-that of passively drifting individuals, (ii) inclusion of reaction behaviour for actively swimming individuals and (iii) a hierarchical Bayesian estimation framework. The results indicated that about half of individuals were foraging actively of which less than one third reacted on encountering the bait plume and the other half were drifting with the current. Taking account of drifting individuals and the reaction probability made density estimates from bait experiments and strip transects more similar. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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