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Free Content Effects of California El Niño 1982–1984 on the northern anchovy

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El Niño caused physical and biological changes in the northern anchovy habitat off southern California. Anomalous sea surface temperatures, surface currents, mixed layer depths, and plankton biomass levels began to appear in late 1982 and persisted into 1984. Growth of juvenile and adult anchovy slowed during El Niño, probably due to reduced availability of zooplankton prey. A decrease in size-at-age in early 1983, with a recovery in late 1984, can be explained by movements of the stock and the latitudinal cline in size-at-age. Spawning range expanded in 1983 due to shifts in sea surface temperature boundaries. Early larval mortality was unusually high in the yolk-sac stage. Fecundity per unit spawning biomass was low in 1983, due primarily to a high proportion of first-year spawners. Size-at-age was very low by spring 1984, but specific fecundity was surprisingly high. Although El Niño had a variety of significant effects on the northern anchovy, the stock seems to have recovered in 1985.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 1986

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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