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Latitudinal and seasonal effects on growth of the Australian eastern king prawn ( Melicertus plebejus )

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The growth of the Australian eastern king prawn (Melicertus plebejus) is understood in greater detail by quantifying the latitudinal effect. The latitudinal effect is the change in the species’ growth rate during migration. Mark–recapture data (N = 1635, latitude 22.21°S–34.00°S) presents northerly movement of the eastern king prawn, with New South Wales prawns showing substantial average movement of 140 km (standard deviation: 176 km) north. A generalized von Bertalanffy growth model framework is used to incorporate the latitudinal effect together with the canonical seasonal effect. Applying this method to eastern king prawn mark–recapture data guarantees consistent estimates for the latitudinal and seasonal effects. For M. plebejus, it was found that growth rate peaks on 25 and 29 January for males and females, respectively; is at a minimum on 27 and 31 July, respectively; and that the shape parameter, k (per year), changes by –0.0236 and –0.0556 every 1 degree of latitude south increase for males and females, respectively.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Applications in Natural Resource Mathematics (CARM), School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Qld 4067, Australia. 2: Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Ecosciences Precinct, Joe Baker Street, Dutton Park, Queensland, 4102, Australia. 3: Cronulla Fisheries Centre, 202 Nicholson Parade, Cronulla, NSW, 2230, Australia.

Publication date: September 17, 2012

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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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