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Survival variability and population density in fish populations

Survival variability and population density in fish populations Population sizes of insects, fish, birds and mammals vary greatly from year to year. This variability has often been seen as mere 'noise', an obstacle to unravelling the underlying abundance patterns. This has lead to divergent theories as to whether population growth will decrease at large numbers because of limited resources. Minto et al. adopt a novel approach to the problem by focusing on the very patterns of variability that were previously thought of as an obstacle. There should be patterns discernible in the variable data, the thinking goes, if populations are regulated according to their size. The assumption is supported by a study of a global database of fish species. The predictions relate to all population sizes and reveal, in particular, that variance continues to increase the lower the population size becomes. Focusing solely on the average numbers of a population will miss this fact, and increase the risk of numbers plummeting to extinction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Springer Journals

Survival variability and population density in fish populations

Nature , Volume 452 (7185) – Mar 20, 2008

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References (37)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Nature Publishing Group
Subject
Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, multidisciplinary
ISSN
0028-0836
eISSN
1476-4687
DOI
10.1038/nature06605
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Population sizes of insects, fish, birds and mammals vary greatly from year to year. This variability has often been seen as mere 'noise', an obstacle to unravelling the underlying abundance patterns. This has lead to divergent theories as to whether population growth will decrease at large numbers because of limited resources. Minto et al. adopt a novel approach to the problem by focusing on the very patterns of variability that were previously thought of as an obstacle. There should be patterns discernible in the variable data, the thinking goes, if populations are regulated according to their size. The assumption is supported by a study of a global database of fish species. The predictions relate to all population sizes and reveal, in particular, that variance continues to increase the lower the population size becomes. Focusing solely on the average numbers of a population will miss this fact, and increase the risk of numbers plummeting to extinction.

Journal

NatureSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 20, 2008

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