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Impact of winter‐to‐spring environmental variability along the Kuroshio jet on the recruitment of Japanese sardine (

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Winter‐to‐spring variability in sea surface temperature (SST) and mixed layer depth (MLD) around the Kuroshio current system and its relationship to the survival rate (ln [recruit per spawning stock biomass], LNRPS) of Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanostictus) were investigated based on a correlation analysis of data from 1980 to 1995. The data were from a high‐resolution ocean general circulation model using the ‘Kuroshio axis coordinates’, in which the meridional positions are relocated to a latitude relative to the Kuroshio axis at each longitude, rather than the geographically fixed coordinates. A significant positive (negative) correlation between LNRPS and winter MLD (winter–spring SST) was detected near the Kuroshio axis from areas south of Japan (where eggs are spawned) to the Kuroshio Extension (where larvae are transported). This result is in contrast to previous studies using geographically fixed coordinates, which showed a significant correlation predominantly in the area south of the Kuroshio Extension in winter, where at this time few larvae have been found. From the late 1980s to early 1990s, when the survival rate was remarkably low, MLD around the axis was shallow and SST was high. Although MLD and SST show a significant correlation, significant partial correlations were also observed between February MLD and LNRPS when the contribution of SST was excluded, and between March SST and LNRPS when the contribution of MLD was excluded. We presume that MLD shoaling reduced the nutrient supply from deep layers, resulting in less productivity in the spring, and SST warming could have a negative influence on larval growth.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba 277-8568, Japan

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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