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Effects of survey scale and water depth on the assessment of spatial distribution patterns of selected fish in the northern North Sea showing different levels of aggregation
Stelzenmüller, V.; Ehrich, S.; Zauke, G.-P. (2005). Effects of survey scale and water depth on the assessment of spatial distribution patterns of selected fish in the northern North Sea showing different levels of aggregation. Mar. Biol. Res. 1(6): 375-387
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Spatial analysis; Spatial analysis; Spatial variations; Clupea harengus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Limanda limanda (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Melanogrammus aeglefinus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Merlangius merlangus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Stelzenmüller, V.
  • Ehrich, S.
  • Zauke, G.-P.

Abstract
    Geostatistics was employed to investigate spatial structuring of herring, cod, dab, haddock and whiting at different spatial scales in the northern North Sea. Additionally, a structural analysis of the maximum water depth was carried out to assess habitat associations of fish. Linear, spherical, exponential and Gaussian models were fitted to the semivariograms, showing clear spatial autocorrelations. At the smaller scale, spatial structuring was weak for haddock, herring and dab, increasing at the greater spatial scale, with the exception of whiting. Mean catch rates, estimated classically and geostatistically, were in good agreement. Corresponding variances were clearly reduced at both spatial scales, when accounting for spatial distribution of the fish. At the greater survey scale a high level of habitat association was detected for haddock and whiting, while a poor habitat association was found for cod, dab and herring. The smaller scale seems to be the threshold at which spatial structuring of “cpue” could have marked influence on estimation error. Thus, survey scale is important when analysing spatial patterns and estimating mean biomass indices, and a sound analysis of relations in spatial structuring of fish and habitat conditions is essential to derive more precise estimates.

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