The utility of bioenergetics modelling in quantifying predation rates of marine apex predators: ecological and fisheries implications

Barnett, A., Braccini, M., Dudgeon, C.L., Payne, N.L., Abrantes, K.G., Sheaves, M., and Snelling, E.P. (2017) The utility of bioenergetics modelling in quantifying predation rates of marine apex predators: ecological and fisheries implications. Scientific Reports, 7. 12982.

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Abstract

Predators play a crucial role in the structure and function of ecosystems. However, the magnitude of this role is often unclear, particularly for large marine predators, as predation rates are difficult to measure directly. If relevant biotic and abiotic parameters can be obtained, then bioenergetics modelling offers an alternative approach to estimating predation rates, and can provide new insights into ecological processes. We integrate demographic and ecological data for a marine apex predator, the broadnose sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus, with energetics data from the literature, to construct a bioenergetics model to quantify predation rates on key fisheries species in Norfolk Bay, Australia. We account for the uncertainty in model parameters by incorporating parameter confidence through Monte Carlo simulations and running alternative variants of the model. Model and parameter variants provide alternative estimates of predation rates. Our simplest model estimates that ca. 1130 ± 137 N. cepedianus individuals consume 11,379 (95% CI: 11,111–11,648) gummy sharks Mustelus antarcticus (~21 tonnes) over a 36-week period in Norfolk Bay, which represents a considerable contribution to total predation mortality on this key fishery species. This study demonstrates how the integration of ecology and fisheries science can provide information for ecosystem and fisheries management.

Item ID: 53133
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information:

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Funders: Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF), Winifred Violet Scott Foundation (WVSF), Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, Claude Leon Foundation
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 00:23
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060699 Physiology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 40%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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