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Mixed effects models for fish growth

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Fish growth in a particular year has both intrinsic and environmental components. Intrinsic growth can depend on both the age and size of the fish and on particular characteristics of the individual fish. The environmental component is the influence of external conditions such as food supply on the growth increment. In this article, we present mixed-effects models as an alternative to fixed-effects linear models for incremental fish growth used previously in the literature and show how these models overcome many of the shortcomings of the fixed-effects approach. In addition, widely available software allows for fitting these models and for elaboration of them to learn about the effects of additional factors such as temperature, species interactions, management practices, the introduction of an invasive species, or other known environmental variables. Finally, we provide a connection with the more usual modeling of size-attained data through the use of growth functions such as the von Bertalanffy.

La croissance des poissons au cours d’une année donnée comporte à la fois des composantes intrinsèques et environnementales. La croissance intrinsèque peut dépendre simultanément de l’âge ou de la taille du poisson et des caractéristiques particulières de chaque poisson. La composante environnementale consiste dans l’influence des conditions externes, telles que l’approvisionnement en nourriture, sur l’augmentation de la croissance. Nous présentons des modèles à effets mixtes en remplacement des modèles linéaires à effets fixes utilisés antérieurement dans la littérature et montrons comment ces modèles corrigent plusieurs des carences reliées à la méthodologie des effets fixes. De plus, des logiciels facilement disponibles permettent d’ajuster ces modèles et de les transformer afin de connaître les effets de facteurs additionnels comme la température, les interactions entre les espèces, les méthodes de gestion, l’introduction d’espèces envahissantes ou d’autres variables connues du milieu. Nous fournissons enfin un lien avec la modélisation plus courante des données de la taille atteinte au moyen de fonctions de croissance comme celle de von Bertalanffy.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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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