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A mathematical model of the commercial harvest of Palmaria palmata (Palmariales, Rhodophyta) on Digby Neck, Nova Scotia, Canada

  • Lukeman, Ryan J. (Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, St. Francis Xavier University) ;
  • Beveridge, Leah F. (Department of Biology, St. Francis Xavier University) ;
  • Flynn, Andrea D. (Department of Biology, St. Francis Xavier University) ;
  • Garbary, David J. (Department of Biology, St. Francis Xavier University)
  • Received : 2012.01.26
  • Accepted : 2012.02.29
  • Published : 2012.03.15

Abstract

A mathematical model of the commercial harvest of Palmaria palmata (Dulse) is presented based on a logistic model and field data collected on Digby Neck, Nova Scotia from 14 harvested shores during May to August, 2010. Field observations used to estimate model parameters included cover of Dulse before and after harvest from Dulse dominated boulders for which surface area was estimated, and from which fresh biomass of harvested Dulse was weighed. Over all the surveys the average harvest fraction was about 50%, and the total resource was about $1,600g\;m^{-2}$. With growth rates in excess of 4% per day and a 50% harvest of the standing crop each month, the model suggests that the Dulse resource is sustainable at current harvest levels.

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