Ecological and evolutionary consequences of size-selective harvesting: how much do we know?
Article first published online: 14 SEP 2007
© 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 209–220, January 2008
How to Cite
FENBERG, P. B. and ROY, K. (2008), Ecological and evolutionary consequences of size-selective harvesting: how much do we know?. Molecular Ecology, 17: 209–220. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03522.x
- Issue published online: 14 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 14 SEP 2007
- Received 8 February 2007; revision received 11 July 2007; accepted 1 August 2007
- size-selective harvesting;
- terrestrial vertebrates
Size-selective harvesting, where the large individuals of a particular species are preferentially taken, is common in both marine and terrestrial habitats. Preferential removal of larger individuals of a species has been shown to have a negative effect on its demography, life history and ecology, and empirical studies are increasingly documenting such impacts. But determining whether the observed changes represent evolutionary response or phenotypic plasticity remains a challenge. In addition, the problem is not recognized in most management plans for fish and marine invertebrates that still mandate a minimum size restriction. We use examples from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats to illustrate some of the biological consequences of size-selective harvesting and discuss possible future directions of research as well as changes in management policy needed to mitigate its negative biological impacts.