Empirical modelling of the population dynamics of a small population of the threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus

Robert J. Wootton, Colin E. Adams, Martin J. Attrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

We estimated the abundance of a small population of threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, by mark-recapture over a 21 year period. Length-frequency analysis showed that the population in October consisted almost entirely of young-of-the-year. The per capita annual rate of increase was inversely related to abundance in October. Time series analysis suggested the presence of a cycle of abundance with a period of about 6 years. There was a significant inverse relationship between abundance in year t and in year t + 3. A simple, empirical, deterministic model based on this inverse relationship and run for 100 years predicted that population abundance showed damped oscillations leading to a stable abundance. When a stochastic component was added to the model, seven of 10 runs included a component with a period of about 6 years. These simulations suggest that the dynamics of this population are driven by an interaction between a deterministic (density-dependent) component and a stochastic component. We compare these results with time series of abundance of threespine stickleback obtained from the Thames Estuary in south-east England and Loch Lomond in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Volume74
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2005

Keywords

  • demography
  • population cycles
  • density-dependence
  • stochastic

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Empirical modelling of the population dynamics of a small population of the threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this