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Intra-annual recruitment events of a shelf species around an island system in the NW Mediterranean

AuthorsHidalgo, Manuel ; Tomás, Javier; Moranta, Joan ; Morales-Nin, Beatriz
Issue Date2009
PublisherAcademic Press
CitationEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 83(2): 227-238 (2009)
AbstractSeasonal pattern of fish recruitment can vary over years, and the coupling of such pattern with favourable trophic-environmental conditions may trigger non-stationary and non-linear effects on the yearly recruitment variability. The relative contribution of intra-annual discrete recruitment events (REs) to recruitment is often the basis of the inter-annual fluctuations in abundance and biomass of exploited fish populations which are based on a small number of age classes. In this study, REs of European hake (Merluccius merluccius L.) were identified in the north and south of the Balearic Islands (NW Mediterranean) during the 2004 recruitment season and investigated for growth and physiological and morphological condition. Five REs were identified with different contributions in abundance to the annual recruitment in each area coming from different intra-annual spawning batches. Growth rates were similar between the REs with the exception of the last event of the season. Conversely, large differences in morphological and physiological condition were observed between REs and were due to: different environmental-trophic scenarios encountered, and ontogenetic changes related to the recruitment to the shelf-break grounds (ca. 11 cm, 5-6 months of life) which triggered a trade-off in the energy allocation strategy. The spatial-temporal variability in the physiological condition among REs at the beginning of the recruitment season might be explained in the basis on a 'condition expanded match-mismatch hypothesis'. We advance that individuals recruiting in the north, which were in better condition and temporally and spatially differenced from the south, have most probably hatched in separated locations with different food availability for larvae and early life stages. We propose that hake recruiting to the north and south of the island are from different origins, mainland and the islands respectively, and have benefited from different environmental conditions. This results in a different condition but not in different growth rates. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2009.03.037
issn: 0272-7714
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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