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A body length based population model was put forward to depict the dynamics of large icefish (Protosalanx hyalocranius), in the context of ecological risk analysis for northern China waters. The body length of large icefish individual governs its feeding preference to zooplankton, forage fishes, and phytoplankton, as renders body length distribution indispensible for modeling of the large icefish population. A normal distribution and a shifted lognormal distribution were found to fit the body lengths reasonably well for mean length below and above 80mm, respectively. Use of the fitted body length distributions was made to estimate the transition rate from omnivorous juveniles to adults that prey exclusively on forage fishes. With the body length distributions embedded, a large icefish population model was established and parameterized with typical vitality values in Daihai Lake in northern China. The model was simulated along with the modules for phytoplankton, zooplankton, and forage fishes, and the simulated dynamics exhibited consistence with the seasonal fluctuations observed in the field. The large icefish population model was deemed a useful demonstration for ecological risk assessment of populations with short lifecycles.
Date of Conference: 10-12 May 2011