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  1. Experiments and models suggest that climate affects mosquito-borne disease transmission. However, disease transmission involves complex nonlinear interactions between climate and population dynamics, which makes detecting climate drivers at the population level challenging. By analysing incidence data, estimated susceptible population size, and climate data with methods based on nonlinear time series analysis (collectively referred to as empirical dynamic modelling), we identified drivers and their interactive effects on dengue dynamics in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Climatic forcing arose only when susceptible availability was high: temperature and rainfall had net positive and negative effects respectively. By capturing mechanistic, nonlinear and context-dependent effects ofmore »population susceptibility, temperature and rainfall on dengue transmission empirically, our model improves forecast skill over recent, state-of-the-art models for dengue incidence. Together, these results provide empirical evidence that the interdependence of host population susceptibility and climate drives dengue dynamics in a nonlinear and complex, yet predictable way.« less
  2. Small pelagic fish support some of the largest fisheries globally, yet there is an ongoing debate about the magnitude of the impacts of environmental processes and fishing activities on target species. We use a nonparametric, nonlinear approach to quantify these effects on the Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) in the Gulf of California. We show that the effect of fishing pressure and environmental variability are comparable. Furthermore, when predicting total catches, the best models account for both drivers. By using empirical dynamic programming with average environmental conditions, we calculated optimal policies to ensure long-term sustainable fisheries. The first policy, the equilibriummore »maximum sustainable yield, suggests that the fishery could sustain an annual catch of ∼2.16 × 10 5 tonnes. The second policy with dynamic optimal effort, reveals that the effort from 2 to 4 years ago impacts the current maximum sustainable effort. Consecutive years of high effort require a reduction to let the stock recover. Our work highlights a new framework that embraces the complex processes that drive fisheries population dynamics yet produces simple and robust advice to ensure long-term sustainable fisheries.« less
  3. Coulson, Tim (Ed.)
  4. Abstract The systematic substitution of direct observational data with synthesized data derived from models during the stock assessment process has emerged as a low-cost alternative to direct data collection efforts. What is not widely appreciated, however, is how the use of such synthesized data can overestimate predictive skill when forecasting recruitment is part of the assessment process. Using a global database of stock assessments, we show that Standard Fisheries Models (SFMs) can successfully predict synthesized data based on presumed stock-recruitment relationships, however, they are generally less skillful at predicting observational data that are either raw or minimally filtered (denoised withoutmore »using explicit stock-recruitment models). Additionally, we find that an equation-free approach that does not presume a specific stock-recruitment relationship is better than SFMs at predicting synthesized data, and moreover it can also predict observational recruitment data very well. Thus, while synthesized datasets are cheaper in the short term, they carry costs that can limit their utility in predicting real world recruitment.« less
  5. Griffith, Gary (Ed.)
    Abstract The stock–recruitment relationship is the basis of any stock prediction and thus fundamental for fishery management. Traditional parametric stock–recruitment models often poorly fit empirical data, nevertheless they are still the rule in fish stock assessment procedures. We here apply a multi-model approach to predict recruitment of 20 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stocks as a function of adult biomass and environmental variables. We compare the traditional Ricker model with two non-parametric approaches: (i) the stochastic cusp model from catastrophe theory and (ii) multivariate simplex projections, based on attractor state-space reconstruction. We show that the performance of each model is contingentmore »on the historical dynamics of individual stocks, and that stocks which experienced abrupt and state-dependent dynamics are best modelled using non-parametric approaches. These dynamics are pervasive in Western stocks highlighting a geographical distinction between cod stocks, which have implications for their recovery potential. Furthermore, the addition of environmental variables always improved the models’ predictive power indicating that they should be considered in stock assessment and management routines. Using our multi-model approach, we demonstrate that we should be more flexible when modelling recruitment and tailor our approaches to the dynamical properties of each individual stock.« less