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The influence of temperature on advective loss of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) eggs from the inshore environment

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We use a simple model of temperature-dependent egg development and mortality to develop several hypotheses concerning the effect of temperature on the occurrence of eggs of Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. Predictions from this exploratory model were tested through a series of synoptic ichthyoplankton surveys throughout spawning and postspawning periods during 1997 and 1998. Although several egg mortality relationships were explored through the simulation, a constant mortality rate best represented the pattern observed in the two years of data. Peaks in late stage egg densities occurred in August of both 1997 and 1998 and were apparently decoupled from egg production peaks in April. We observed a decrease in mortality and the distance dispersed during egg development with increases in water temperature. We suggest that the effects of predation are small relative to the advective effects within this system, and that the interaction between advection and temperature-dependent vital rates of eggs may have dramatic consequences for coastal retention of propagules produced by inshore spawning events.

Keywords: Placentia Bay; advection; cod; egg development; mortality; temperature; transport

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Fisheries Conservation Group, Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, PO Box 4920, St. John’s, NF, A1C 5R3, Canada

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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