Multimodel approaches in shark and ray growth studies: strengths, weaknesses and the future

Smart, Jonathan J., Chin, Andrew, Tobin, Andrew J., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2016) Multimodel approaches in shark and ray growth studies: strengths, weaknesses and the future. Fish and Fisheries, 17 (4). pp. 955-971.

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Multimodel frameworks are common in contemporary elasmobranch growth literature. These techniques offer a proposed improvement over individual growth functions by incorporating additional candidate models with alternative characteristics. Sigmoid functions (e.g. Gompertz and logistic) are a popular alternative to the commonly used von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) as they are hypothesized to better suit certain taxa based on body shape (such as batoids) or reproductive mode (such as egg-layers). However, this hypothesis has never been tested. This study examined 74 elasmobranch multimodel growth studies by comparing the growth curves of their respective candidate models. Hypotheses regarding model performances were rejected as the VBGF was equally likely to fit best for all taxa and reproductive modes. Subsequently, no individual model was suited to be used a priori. Differences between candidate model fits were greatest at age zero with Gompertz and logistic functions providing estimates that were 15% and 23% larger on average than the VBGF, respectively. However, length-at-age estimates of the different models became negligible at older ages. Differences between candidate models were mostly small (≤5%), and the multimodel framework only marginally affected length-at-age estimates. However, there were cases where some candidate models provided inappropriate fits that contrasted considerably to the best fitting model. In some of these instances, a single-model framework could have yielded biologically unrealistic growth estimates. Therefore, no study could preempt whether or not it required a multimodel framework. A framework was subsequently recommended to maximize the accuracy of model fits for elasmobranch length-at-age estimates using multimodel approaches.

Item ID: 48282
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-2979
Keywords: AIC, elasmobranch, growth, age, modelling, shark
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This publication was included as Chapter 2 of the following PhD thesis: Smart, Jonathan James (2016) Life history and demographic modelling of shark species caught in Indo-Pacific fisheries. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship, Australian Postgraduate Award
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 22:10
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 20%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300502 Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment @ 80%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 10%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 10%
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