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Life history strategy and impacts of environmental variability on early life stages of two marine fishes in the North Sea: an individual-based modelling approach

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Abstract:

We employed a suite of coupled models to estimate the influence of environmental variability in the North Sea on early life stages of sprat (Sprattus sprattus), a small pelagic clupeid, and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), a demersal gadoid. Environmentally driven changes in bottom-up processes were projected to impact the survival and growth of eggs and larvae of these marine fish species in markedly different ways. We utilized a spatially explicit, individual-based model (IBM) to estimate larval fish survival and a 3D ecosystem model (ECOSMO) to provide variable prey fields. The model was applied to each of 3years (1990, 1992, 1996) specifically characterized by interannual differences in water temperature in late winter and spring. Our results indicated that an important mechanism connecting environmental factors to larval fish survival was the match–mismatch dynamics of first-feeding larvae and their prey, which was species-specific because of (i)differences in the timing and locations of spawning, (ii)the duration of endogenously feeding life stages, and (iii)prey thresholds required for larval survival. Differences in transport processes also played an important role for the potential survival of larvae of both species.

Nous employons une série de modèles couplés pour estimer l'influence de la variabilité environnementale dans la mer du Nord sur les premiers stades de vie du sprat (Sprattus sprattus), un petit clupéidé pélagique, et de la morue franche (Gadus morhua), un gadoïdé démersal. Nous avons prédit que les changements causés par l'environnement dans les processus ascendants devraient affecter la survie et la croissance des œufs et des larves de ces espèces marines de poissons de manière nettement différente. Nous utilisons un modèle basé sur l'individu (IBM) et spatialement explicite pour estimer la survie des larves de poissons et un modèle 3D de l'écosystème (ECOSMO) pour fournir des champs variables de proies. Nous avons utilisé cette modélisation avec les données de chacune de 3années (1990, 1992, 1996) qui sont spécifiquement caractérisées par des différences interannuelles de température de l'eau à la fin de l'hiver et au printemps. Nos résultats indiquent qu'un important mécanisme qui relie les facteurs du milieu à la survie des larves de poissons est la dynamique d'appariement–mésappariement entre les larves lors de leur première alimentation et leurs proies; cette dynamique est spécifique à chaque espèce à cause (i)des différences dans le calendrier et la localisation de la fraie, (ii)de la durée des stades du cycle à alimentation endogène et (iii)des seuils de proies requis pour la survie des larves. Des différences dans les processus de transport jouent aussi un rôle important dans la survie potentielle des larves des deux espèces.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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