Accounting for ocean connectivity and hydroclimate in fish recruitment fluctuations within transboundary metapopulations
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AuthorsHidalgo, M. (Manuel); Rossi, V. (Vincent); Monroy, P.; Ser-Giacomi, E.; Hernández-García, E.; Guijarro, B. (Beatriz); Massutí, E. (Enric); Alemany, F. (Francisco); Jadaud, A. (Angélique); Pérez, J.L. (José Luis); Reglero, P. (Patricia)
Marine resources stewardships are progressively becoming more receptive to an effective incorporation of both ecosystem and environmental complexities into the analytical frameworks of fisheries assessment. Understanding and predicting marine fish production for spatially and demographically complex populations in changing environmental conditions is however still a difficult task. Indeed, fisheries assessment is mostly based on deterministic models that lack realistic parameterizations of the intricate biological and physical processes shaping recruitment, a cornerstone in population dynamics. We use here a large metapopulation of a harvested fish, the European hake (Merluccius merluccius), managed across transnational boundaries in the northwestern Mediterranean, to model fish recruitment dynamics in terms of physics-dependent drivers related to dispersal and survival. The connectivity among nearby subpopulations is evaluated by simulating multi-annual Lagrangian indices of larval ...