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Interannual variability in abundance and length of young coastal cod in the subtidal zone

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Abstract:

The year‐to‐year variability of total length and abundance of young cod Gadus morhua in the littoral zone of the Norwegian Skagerrak coast was dominant over spatial variability. The 0 year group cod was slightly larger in exposed areas than in protected areas. Contrary to expectations, the 0 year group cod was less abundant in the protected inner parts of the fjords. Although the natural variability was very large, exposed areas (the skerries) seemed to be the better area for the 0 year group cod, while for the 1 year group cod, no differences in abundance or growth could be identified indicating that they had adopted a mature pattern of movement, utilizing the entire fjord for feeding. Available habitat data indicated that the availability of shelter was a potential cause for the distributional pattern.

Keywords: 0 year group; 1 year group; eelgrass; growth; kelp; population structure

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2006.00953.x

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biology, University of Oslo, PO Box 1050 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway and 2: Institute of Marine Research, Flødevigen Marine Research Station, N-4817 His, Norway

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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