MEPS:Advance View   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12260

REVIEW
From coral reefs to whale teeth: estimating mortality from natural accumulations of skeletal materials

Vladimir Laptikhovsky1,*, Christopher J. Barrett1, Philip R. Hollyman2

1Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT, UK
2School of Ocean Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Menai Bridge, Anglesey LL59 5AB, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Estimation of natural and anthropogenic (fishing, hunting) mortality is the key problem in studies of population dynamics. Numerous theoretical approaches were developed in environmental sciences to find a solution based on information that could be obtained from live representatives of populations of interest. We review the alternative methods used by marine biologists, palaeontologists and zoo-archaeologists to estimate natural and anthropogenic mortality from age-registering structures of the different taxa (corals, molluscs, fishes and mammals) collected in thanatocoenoses and containing information about the exact individual age-at-death. Not all approaches and techniques are transferrable from one field to another because they were elaborated for organisms with different morphologies and ecologies, but cross-fertilisation of ideas presented in this review might provide a new insight into studies related to population dynamics.


KEY WORDS: Age-registering structures · Mortality · Mollusc · Coral reef · Fish · Marine mammals


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Cite this article as: Laptikhovsky V, Barrett CJ, Hollyman PR (2017) From coral reefs to whale teeth: estimating mortality from natural accumulations of skeletal materials. Mar Ecol Prog Ser https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12260

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