Nonlinear relationships can lead to bias in biomass calculations and drift-foraging models when using summaries of invertebrate drift data

Environmental Biology of Fishes
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Abstract

Drift-foraging models offer a mechanistic description of how fish feed in flowing water and the application of drift-foraging bioenergetics models to answer both applied and theoretical questions in aquatic ecology is growing. These models typically include nonlinear descriptions of ecological processes and as a result may be sensitive to how model inputs are summarized because of a mathematical property of nonlinear equations known as Jensen’s inequality. In particular, we show that the way in which continuous size distributions of invertebrate prey are represented within foraging models can lead to biases within the modeling process. We begin by illustrating how different equations common to drift-foraging models are sensitive to invertebrate inputs. We then use two case studies to show how different representations of invertebrate prey can influence predictions of energy intake and lifetime growth. Greater emphasis should be placed on accurate characterizations of invertebrate drift, acknowledging that inferences from drift-foraging models may be influenced by how invertebrate prey are represented.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Nonlinear relationships can lead to bias in biomass calculations and drift-foraging models when using summaries of invertebrate drift data
Series title Environmental Biology of Fishes
DOI 10.1007/s10641-016-0507-8
Volume 99
Issue 8
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 659
Last page 670
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N