North Sea saithe Pollachius virens growth in relation to food availability, density dependence and temperature

Type Article
Date 2016-01
Language English
Author(s) Cormon Xochitl1, Ernande BrunoORCID1, Kempf Alexander2, Vermard YouenORCID3, Marchal PaulORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Channel & North Sea Fisheries Res Unit, 150 Quai Gambetta,BP 699, F-62321 Boulogne Sur Mer, France.
2 : Thunen Inst Sea Fisheries, Palmaille 9, D-22767 Hamburg, Germany.
3 : IFREMER, Unit Fisheries Ecol & Modelling, BP 21105, F-44311 Nantes 03, France.
Source Marine Ecology Progress Series (0171-8630) (Inter-research), 2016-01 , Vol. 542 , P. 141-151
DOI 10.3354/meps11559
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) Bottom-up processes, von Bertalanffy growth function, Logistic growth, Norway pout, Prey availability effects, Density-dependence, Predator-prey interactions, Resource limitation, Competition
Abstract North Sea saithe Pollachius virens, a major top predator in the area, supports the fishery economy of several European countries. However, recent stock assessments suggested a decrease in spawning stock biomass along with a decline in saithe mean weight-at-ages. In this context, we investigated North Sea saithe growth characteristics at the population level. First, saithe annual weight increments and age-length relationships were studied. Modelling of saithe age-length relationships was carried out using (1) the traditional von Bertalanffy growth function model, (2) the Verhulst logistic model and (3) an empirical linear model. Second, the effects of environmental factors on saithe growth were investigated. Explanatory environmental factors included food availability, represented by the total biomass of Norway pout Trisopterus esmarkii; intraspecific competition, i.e. density dependence, represented by saithe abundance; and temperature. This study revealed that the Verhulst logistic model was the best descriptor of saithe growth and that density dependence and food availability had significant effects on the saithe growth coefficient, while no effect of temperature was shown. We suggest that reduced food availability and increased competition may explain the recent decrease in the saithe growth coefficient.
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Cormon Xochitl, Ernande Bruno, Kempf Alexander, Vermard Youen, Marchal Paul (2016). North Sea saithe Pollachius virens growth in relation to food availability, density dependence and temperature. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 542, 141-151. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :