Population dynamics and distribution

None of natural populations are stable, they are all dynamic and continuously changing in structure, size, and distribution. The changes in population size are governed by births and deaths, and emigration and immigration. In addition, these processes are often dependent on the population abundance – for example, with high abundance, there will be more competition for resources, and that might lead to decreased birth rates or increased death rates. Since I work a lot with fish, I have worked with particularly recruitment dynamics, that is, how many new individuals join the population each year, and what are the factors influencing this. Many fish stocks have been at low levels due to overexploitation, and I have tried to understand the recovery process of such populations after the fishing mortality has been reduced.

Authorship in general by “first-last-author-emphasis”, students/postdocs supervised by me marked with an *.


*Zimmermann, F., *M. Claireaux and K. Enberg. 2019. Common trends in recruitment dynamics of Northeast Atlantic fish stocks and their links to environment, ecology and management. Fish and Fisheries 20: 518-536. https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12360 (open access)


*Nikolioudakis, N., H.J. Skaug, A.H. Olafsdottir, T. Jansen, J.A. Jacobsen, and K. Enberg. 2019. Drivers of the summer-distribution of Northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in the Nordic Seas from 2011 to 2017; a Bayesian hierarchical modelling approach. ICES Journal of Marine Science 76: 530-548DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsy085 (open access).

Posterior means and standard deviations (SD) of the spatial random effect (GMRF) for the occurrence model and the positive density model. Values of the fields are shown in log scale and geographical coordinates in km (UTM zone 29 projection).

Dickey-Collas, M., R.D.M. Nash, T. Brunel, C.J.G. van Damme, C.T. Marshall, M.R. Payne, A. Corten, A.J. Geffen, M.A. Peck, E.M.C. Hatfield, N.T. Hintzen, K. Enberg, L.T. Kell and E.J. Simmonds 2010. Lessons learned from stock collapse and recovery of North Sea herring: a review. ICES Journal of Marine Science 67: 1875-1886. (open access)

Spawning grounds of autumn- and spring-spawning herring in the North Sea and adjacent waters. Circles denote locations of spring-spawning herring in fjords. Although spawning in winter, Downs herring are considered an integral part of the autumn-spawning stock.

Enberg, K., C. Jørgensen, E.S. Dunlop, M. Heino, and U. Dieckmann. 2009. Implications of fisheries-induced evolution for stock rebuilding and recovery. Evolutionary Applications 2: 394-414. (open access)


Gårdmark, A., K. Enberg, J. Ripa, J. Laakso, and V. Kaitala. 2003. The ecology of recovery. Annales Zoologici Fennici 40: 131-144. (open access)

Lorenzen, K. and K. Enberg. 2002. Density-dependent growth as a key mechanism in the regulation of fish populations: evidence from among-population comparisons. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 269: 49-54. (open access)