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Incorporating Allee effects into the potential biological removal level

August 1, 2017

Potential biological removal (PBR) is an approach used to calculate sustainable harvest and “take” limits for populations. PBR was originally derived assuming logistic growth while ignoring the effects of small population size (i.e., an Allee effect). We derived a version of PBR that includes an Allee effect (i.e., small population size or densities limiting population growth rates). We found that PBR becomes less conservative when it fails to consider an Allee effect. Specifically, sustainable harvest and take levels based upon PBR with an Allee effect were between approximately 51% and 66% of levels based upon PBR without an Allee effect. Managers and biologists using PBR may need to consider the limitations if an Allee effect may be present in the species being modeled.