Population growth across heterogeneous environments: effects of harvesting and age structure
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AuthorsDurant, J.M. (Joel M.); Hidalgo, M. (Manuel); Rouyer, T. (Tristan); Hjermann, D.Ø. (Dag Ø.); Ciannelli, L. (Lorenzo); Eikeset, A.M. (Anne Maria); Yaragina, N. (Natalia); Stenseth, N.C. (Nils Christian)
Population growth is affected by several factors such as climate, species interaction and harvesting pressure. However, additional complexity can arise if fishing increases the sensitivity to environmental variability. To predict the effects of fisheries and climate on marine populations, there is a need for improved understanding of how they affect key ecological processes such as population growth. In this study, we used a comparative approach investigating commercially fished species across different ecosystems: the Norwegian Sea−Barents Sea (Northeast Arctic cod), the North Sea (North Sea cod), the Atlantic Ocean (European hake), the Mediterranean Sea (European hake), and the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea (walleye pollock). Our objective was to compare the effects of commercial fisheries, age structure and environmental variability on population growth rate. We show that although all stocks experienced a decline in abundance, only 3 of them showed a concomitant decreasing trend in ...