Individual based model for grouper populations

Acta Biotheoretica (forthcoming)
Abstract
Dusky groupers ( Epinephelus marginatus ) are characterized by a complex sex allocation strategies and overexploitation of bigger individuals. We developed an individual based model to investigate the long-term effects of density dependence on grouper population dynamics and to analyze the variabilities of extinction probabilities as a result of interacting mortalities at different life stages. We conduct several simulations with different forms of sex allocation functions and different combinations of mortality rates. The model was parametrized using data on dusky grouper populations from the literature. The most important insights produced by this simulation study are that density dependence of sex allocation is an evolutionarily stable strategy, increases the population biomass, mitigates the effect of the removal of large male and indicates a need for protection of females and flexible stages.
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