An evaluation of back-calculation methodology using simulated otolith data

Issue:

Author(s): 
Schirripa, Michael J.
Cover date: 
2002
PDF: 
Pages: 
789–799
Abstract: 

I simulated somatic growth and accompanying otolith growth using an individual-based bioenergetics model in order to examine the performance of several back-calculation methods. Four shapes of otolith radius-total length relations (OR-TL) were simulated. Ten different back-calculation equations, two different regression models of radius-length, and two schemes of annulus selection were examined for a total of 20 different methods to estimate size at age from simulated data sets of length and annulus measurements. The accuracy of each of the twenty methods was evaluated by comparing the back-calculated length-at-age and the true length-at-age. The best back-calculation technique was directly related to how well the OR-TL model fitted. When the OR-TL was sigmoid shaped and all annuli were used, employing a least-squares linear regression coupled with a log-transformed Lee back-calculation equation (y-intercept corrected) resulted in the least error; when only the last annulus was used, employing a direct proportionality back-calculation equation resulted in the least error. When the OR-TL was linear, employing a functional regression coupled with the Lee back-calculation equation resulted in the least error when all annuli were used, and also when only the last annulus was used. If the OR-TL was exponentially shaped, direct substitution into the fitted quadratic equation resulted in the least error when all annuli were used, and when only the last annulus was used. Finally, an asymptotically shaped OR-TL was best modeled by the individually corrected Weibull cumulative distribution function when all annuli were used, and when only the last annulus was used.