Journal Article

Testing the stability of the suitability coefficients from an eastern Bering Sea multispecies virtual population analysis

Jesús Jurado-Molina, Patricia A. Livingston and Vincent F. Gallucci

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 5, pages 915-924
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.03.005
Testing the stability of the suitability coefficients from an eastern Bering Sea multispecies virtual population analysis

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Suitability coefficients are important for the estimation of predation mortality in a multispecies virtual population analysis (MSVPA) and subsequent use in the multispecies forecasting model (MSFOR). Testing the assumption of the stability of the suitability coefficients is important in assessing the robustness of the predictions made with MSFOR. We used different statistical methods to partially test this assumption for the eastern Bering Sea MSVPA model with eight species, using stomach content data for the years 1985–1989. Comparison of the estimates from two different sets of stomach content data (set one with all data and set two mainly with data from 1985) suggested that the differences between the two types of estimates were much reduced when the number of predator stomachs sampled increased. In a second approach, we contrasted the residual variances of partial data sets with the results from the fit of the total data set. Results suggested a small increase (∼10.8%) in the variation of the suitability coefficients. Comparison of the means of the suitability coefficients associated with each predator species suggests that only 13 of the 50 possible pairwise contrasts were significantly different (α = 0.05). In general, results suggested that the predator preferences and prey vulnerabilities remained stable over the time period studied. Therefore, MSFOR could be considered as a tool to advise fisheries managers within a multispecies context.

Keywords: Bering Sea; predation mortality; stability; suitability coefficients

Journal Article.  6627 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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