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Reply to the comment by Payne et al. on “Does the fall phytoplankton bloom control recruitment of Georges Bank haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus, through parental condition?”

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Payne et al. (Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 66: 869–872, 2009) raised several points concerning the handling and interpretation of data that went into an analysis of the population dynamics of Georges Bank haddock that suggested a relationship between the fall phytoplankton bloom and recruitment (Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 65: 1076–1086, 2008). Their main points were the manner in which logarithmic transforms were applied, whether the 2003 year class was truly as large as estimated in a 2006 assessment, and if correlation analyses of zooplankton data should be reconsidered. The reply to these comments was aided by a new assessment which provided additional years of data and improved the quality of the recruitment time series. The reply analyses showed that the relationships were robust to the way the logarithmic transform was applied, the initial estimates of the size of the 2003 year class were correct, and relationships between recruitment and spring zooplankton biomass levels remain statistically insignificant. From these new analyses, the interpretations and conclusions reached in the original paper remain the same; the fall bloom has emerged as a candidate explanatory variable for the stock independent variation in haddock recruitment on Georges Bank.

Payne et al. (J. can. sci. halieut. aquat. 66: 869–872, 2009) ont soulevé plusieurs questions concernant la manipulation et l’interprétation des données utilisées dans une analyse de la dynamique de population des aiglefins du banc Georges qui a proposé l’existence d’une relation entre la floraison automnale de phytoplancton et le recrutement (J. can. sci. halieut. aquat. 65: 1076–1086, 2008). Leurs interrogations principales portaient sur la façon dont les transformations logarithmiques ont été faites, sur la classe annuelle de 2003 à savoir si elle était vraiment aussi importante que l’indique une évaluation de 2006, ainsi que sur la pertinence de revoir les analyses de corrélation des données de zooplancton. Notre réplique à ces commentaires a été facilitée par une nouvelle évaluation qui a ajouté des années supplémentaires de données et amélioré la qualité de la série chronologique de données de recrutement. Les analyses faites pour notre réplique montrent que les relations sont robustes en regard de la façon dont les transformations logarithmiques ont été réalisées, que les évaluations initiales de la taille de la classe annuelle de 2003 sont exactes et que les relations entre le recrutement et les niveaux de biomasse printanière du zooplancton demeurent statistiquement non significatives. Suite à ces nouvelles analyses, les interprétations et les conclusions de l’article original restent les mêmes; la floraison automne ressort comme variable explicative de choix de la variation indépendante du stock dans le recrutement des aiglefins sur le banc Georges.

Document Type: Discussion

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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