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Marine Biology

, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 201–212 | Cite as

Sardine (Sardina pilchardus) spawning seasonality in European waters of the northeast Atlantic

  • Yorgos Stratoudakis
  • Stephen Coombs
  • Ana Lago  de  Lanzós
  • Nicholas Halliday
  • Gersom Costas
  • Bruno Caneco
  • Concha Franco
  • David Conway
  • M. Begoña Santos
  • Alexandra Silva
  • Miguel Bernal
Research Article

Abstract

Egg data from ichthyoplankton monitoring sites in the western English Channel (1988–2003) and northern Spain (1990–2000) and macroscopic maturity data from biological samples of purse seine landings in western and southern Iberia (1980–2004) are used to describe the spawning seasonality of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) in European waters of the northeast Atlantic using generalised additive models. The fitted models reveal a double peak in spawning activity during early summer and autumn in the western Channel, a wider spring peak off northern Spain and a broad winter season in the western and southern Iberian Peninsula. At all sites, a high probability of spawning activity was observed over at least 3 months of the year, with the duration of the season increasing with both decreasing latitude and increasing fish size. Off western and southern Iberia there are indications that the spawning season has been of longer duration in recent years for all size classes (reaching in some cases 8 months of the year for large fish). These patterns are in general agreement with existing literature and theoretical expectations of sardine spawning being driven locally by the seasonal cycle of water temperature, assuming preferences for spawning at 14 –15°C and avoidance for temperatures below 12°C and above 16°C. Regional quotient plots indicated that spawning tolerance to higher temperatures increases progressively with decreasing latitude. Despite the weak evidence for geographical differences in temperature tolerance that may have some genetic origin, the degree of spatio-temporal overlap in sardine-spawning activity within Atlantic European waters is unlikely to promote any reproductive isolation in that area.

Keywords

Spawning Season Purse Seine Spawning Activity Sardina Pilchardus Bivariate Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was carried out as part of Work Packages 1 (Spawning Seasons/Areas) and 6 (Environmental Relationships) of the EU project Sardine Dynamics and Stock Structure in the North-eastern Atlantic (SARDYN, Q5RS-2002-000818), which is affiliated to GLOBEC/SPACC. We thank all staff at MBA, IEO and IPIMAR who contributed to the collection and laboratory analysis of the large number of ichthyoplankton and biological samples used in this study. We also acknowledge Dr Roger Harris of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory for access to the L4 samples and data, and Dr Timothy Smyth for providing the temperature satellite data. Finally, we thank the two anonymous referees for helping to improve the quality of the original manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yorgos Stratoudakis
    • 1
  • Stephen Coombs
    • 2
  • Ana Lago  de  Lanzós
    • 3
  • Nicholas Halliday
    • 2
  • Gersom Costas
    • 4
  • Bruno Caneco
    • 1
  • Concha Franco
    • 3
  • David Conway
    • 2
  • M. Begoña Santos
    • 4
  • Alexandra Silva
    • 1
  • Miguel Bernal
    • 5
  1. 1.INRB/IPIMARLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Marine Biological Association, The LaboratoryPlymouthUK
  3. 3.IEO, Servicios CentralesMadridSpain
  4. 4.IEO, Centro Costero de Vigo, Cabo EstaiVigoSpain
  5. 5.IEO, Centro Costero de Cádiz, Centro Andaluz de Ciencia y Tecnología MarinaPuerto Real, CádizSpain

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