Effects of Stochasticity in Early Life History on Steepness and Population Growth Rate Estimates: An Illustration on Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
|Author(s)||Simon Maximilien1, 2, Fromentin Jean-Marc2, Bonhommeau Sylvain2, Gaertner Daniel3, Brodziak Jon4, Etienne Marie-Pierre5|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : AgroParistech ENGREF, Ecole Natl Genie Rural Eaux & Forets, Paris, France.
2 : IFREMER Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, UMR EME Exploited Marine Ecosyst 212, Sete, France.
3 : IRD Inst Rech Dev, UMR EME Exploited Marine Ecosyst 212, Sete, France.
4 : Pacific Islands Fisheries Sci Ctr, Honolulu, HI USA.
5 : Inst Natl Rech Agron, UMR AgroParistech INRA 518, Paris, France.
|Source||Plos One (1932-6203) (Public Library Science), 2012-10 , Vol. 7 , N. 10 , P. e48583|
|WOS© Times Cited||9|
|Abstract||The intrinsic population growth rate (r) of the surplus production function used in the biomass dynamic model and the steepness (h) of the stock-recruitment relationship used in age-structured population dynamics models are two key parameters in fish stock assessment. There is generally insufficient information in the data to estimate these parameters that thus have to be constrained. We developed methods to directly estimate the probability distributions of r and h for the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus, Scombridae), using all available biological and ecological information. We examined the existing literature to define appropriate probability distributions of key life history parameters associated with intrinsic growth rate and steepness, paying particular attention to the natural mortality for early life history stages. The estimated probability distribution of the population intrinsic growth rate was weakly informative, with an estimated mean r = 0.77 (+/-0.53) and an interquartile range of (0.34, 1.12). The estimated distribution of h was more informative, but also strongly asymmetric with an estimated mean h = 0.89 (+/-0.20) and a median of 0.99. We note that these two key demographic parameters strongly depend on the distribution of early life history mortality rate (M-0), which is known to exhibit high year-to-year variations. This variability results in a widely spread distribution of M-0 that affects the distribution of the intrinsic population growth rate and further makes the spawning stock biomass an inadequate proxy to predict recruitment levels.|