Bipartite networks improve understanding of effects of waterbody size and angling method on angler-fish interactions

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Abstract

Networks used to study interactions could provide insights to fisheries. We compiled data from 27 297 interviews of anglers across waterbodies that ranged in size from 1 to 12 113 ha. Catch rates of fish species among anglers grouped by species targeted generally differed between angling methods (bank or boat). We constructed angler-catch bipartite networks (angling method specific) between anglers and fish and measured several network metrics. There was considerable variation in networks among waterbodies, with multiple metrics influenced by waterbody size. Number of species-targeting angler groups and number of fish species caught increased with increasing waterbody size. Mean number of links for species-targeting angler groups and fish species caught also increased with waterbody size. Connectance (realized proportion of possible links) of angler-catch interaction networks decreased slower for boat anglers than for bank anglers with increasing waterbody size. Network specialization (deviation of number of interactions from expected) was not significantly related to waterbody size or angling methods. Application of bipartite networks in fishery science requires careful interpretation of outputs, especially considering the numerous confounding factors prevalent in recreational fisheries.

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Chizinski, C. J., Martin, D. R., Shizuka, D., & Pope, K. L. (2018). Bipartite networks improve understanding of effects of waterbody size and angling method on angler-fish interactions. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 75(1), 72–81. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2016-0176

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