Multi‐decadal climate and fishing predictors of abundance for U.S. South Atlantic coastal fishes and invertebrates
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Multi‐decadal climate and fishing predictors of abundance for U.S. South Atlantic coastal fishes and invertebrates

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  • Journal Title:
    Fisheries Oceanography
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    Abundance of marine stocks fluctuates in response to both internal processes (e.g., density dependence) and exogenous drivers, including the physical environment, fishing, and trophodynamic interactions. In the United States, research investigating ecosystem drivers has been focused in data‐rich systems, primarily in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. To develop a more holistic understanding of important ecosystem drivers in the Southeast U.S. continental shelf Large Marine Ecosystem, we applied generalized linear and dynamic linear modeling to investigate the effects of climate and fishing covariates on the relative abundance trends of 71 demersal fish and invertebrate species sampled by a coastal trawl survey during 1990–2013. For the assemblage as a whole, fishing effects predominated over climate effects. In particular, changes in trawling effort within the penaeid shrimp fishery governed abundance trends of bony fishes, invertebrates, and elasmobranchs, a likely result of temporal changes in bycatch mortality. Changes in trawling intensity induced changes in overall community composition and appear to have altered trophic interactions among particular species. Among climate indices investigated, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Western Bermuda High Index were most prevalent in well‐supported dynamic linear models. Observed annual abundance trends were synchronous among some taxonomically related species, highlighting similar responses to exogenous influences based on life history. This study strengthens the foundation for generating hypotheses and advancing ecosystem‐based fisheries research within the region.
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    Fisheries Oceanography, 28(5), 487-504
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    Accepted Manuscript
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