Accounting for individual variability in the von Bertalanffy growth model

Wang, You-Gan & Thomas, Mervyn R. (1995) Accounting for individual variability in the von Bertalanffy growth model. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 52(7), pp. 1368-1375.

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Abstract

Estimation of von Bertalanffy growth parameters has received considerable attention in fisheries research. Since Sainsbury (1980, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 37: 241-247) much of this research effort has centered on accounting for individual variability in the growth parameters. In this paper we demonstrate that, in analysis of tagging data, Sainsbury's method and its derivatives do not, in general, satisfactorily account for individual variability in growth, leading to inconsistent parameter estimates (the bias does not tend to zero as sample size increases to infinity). The bias arises because these methods do not use appropriate conditional expectations as a basis for estimation. This bias is found to be similar to that of the Fabens method. Such methods would be appropriate only under the assumption that the individual growth parameters that generate the growth increment were independent of the growth parameters that generated the initial length. However, such an assumption would be unrealistic. The results are derived analytically, and illustrated with a simulation study. Until techniques that take full account of the appropriate conditioning have been developed, the effect of individual variability on growth has yet to be fully understood.

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ID Code: 90489
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: parameters, age
DOI: 10.1139/f95-132
ISSN: 0706-652X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 18 Nov 2015 03:01
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2015 04:48

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