Maternal Effects and Time to Recovery
Abstract:The discovery of an age-dependent maternal effect in black rockfish (Sebastes melanops Girard, 1856) raises questions about the impacts of fishing on population productivity and, by extension, the ability of overfished populations to recover. I used a simulation to investigate whether a population with an age-dependent maternal effect will recover faster from overfishing than a population without one. The maternal effect is modeled with a multivariate Beverton-Holt stock-recruitment model. This new stock-recruitment function is a modified version of the classic Beverton-Holt model. The parameters are chosen so that prerecruitment mortality and survival rates of offspring depend on the age of their mother, hereafter referred to as their “maternal age.” The development of the maternal effect past the very early larval stage is unknown; this uncertainty is addressed by multiple hypotheses. Many scenarios were simulated and the results are presented as a summary. I found that populations with an age-dependent maternal effect generally recovered faster than populations without one, but if the maternal effect strongly affects density-dependent mortality of juveniles, then time to recovery might not improve with the addition of a maternal effect and might increase. For most cases (85% of those tested) changes in recovery time were between an increase of 3 yrs and a decrease of 14 yrs. These simulation results show that an age-dependent maternal effect may influence a population's ability to recover from an overfished state.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2008
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