Estimating Finite Rate of Population Increase for Sharks Based on Vital Parameters

paper8Published on 17. November 2015

Estimating Finite Rate of Population Increase for Sharks Based on Vital Parameters

Kwang-Ming Liu ,Chien-Pang Chin, Chun-Hui Chen, Jui-Han Chang


The vital parameter data for 62 stocks, covering 38 species, collected from the literature, including parameters of age, growth, and reproduction, were log-transformed and analyzed using multivariate analyses. Three groups were identified and empirical equations were developed for each to describe the relationships between the predicted finite rates of population increase (λ’) and the vital parameters, maximum age (Tmax), age at maturity (Tm), annual fecundity (f/Rc)), size at birth (Lb), size at maturity (Lm), and asymptotic length (L). Group (1) included species with slow growth rates (0.034 yr-1 < k < 0.103 yr-1) and extended longevity (26 yr < Tmax < 81 yr), e.g., shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus, dusky shark Carcharhinus obscurus, etc.; Group (2) included species with fast growth rates (0.103 yr-1 < k < 0.358 yr-1) and short longevity (9 yr < Tmax < 26 yr), e.g., starspotted smoothhound Mustelus manazo, gray smoothhound M. californicus, etc.; Group (3) included late maturing species (Lm/L ≧ 0.75) with moderate longevity (Tmax < 29 yr), e.g., pelagic thresher Alopias pelagicus, sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus. The empirical equation for all data pooled was also developed. The λ’ values estimated by these empirical equations showed good agreement with those calculated using conventional demographic analysis. The predictability was further validated by an independent data set of three species. The empirical equations developed in this study not only reduce the uncertainties in estimation but also account for the difference in life history among groups. This method therefore provides an efficient and effective approach to the implementation of precautionary shark management measures.

PLoS ONE 10(11): e0143008. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0143008



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