, Volume 794, Issue 1, pp 1–16

Sex ratio variation in an exploited population of common octopus: ontogenic shifts and spatio-temporal dynamics

  • Alexandre Alonso-Fernández
  • Jaime Otero
  • Rafael Bañón
  • Jose Manuel Campelos
  • Juan Santos
  • Gonzalo Mucientes
Primary Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-016-3065-3

Cite this article as:
Alonso-Fernández, A., Otero, J., Bañón, R. et al. Hydrobiologia (2017) 794: 1. doi:10.1007/s10750-016-3065-3


Sex ratio is a fundamental demographic parameter with major implications for the dynamics, management, and conservation of animal populations. The objective was to study the main factors affecting the post-settlement population sex ratio (SR) of Octopus vulgaris off the NE Atlantic. We investigated the spatio-temporal dynamics in SR using more than 115,000 individual records obtained from onboard observers over a 14-year period. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate the abiotic and biotic factors affecting the variation in SR. The probability of catching a female decreased with size. Seasonal differences in SR resulted in a female-biased ratio in autumn and male dominance in summer. SR also varied along the bathymetric gradient with larger female proportion at deeper waters in winter and spring. The probability of catching a female was lower in hard substrates mainly in summer. Upwelling intensity and sea surface temperature did not show substantial effects on SR. The analysis neither revealed an influence of local density on SR. The spatio-temporal patterns of SR in O. vulgaris are likely based on differences in sexual behavior and life history which may affect catchability rates. Understanding the causes in SR patterns will provide valuable knowledge for future assessment and management plans.


Sex ratio Life history Fisheries Octopus vulgaris NE Atlantic 

Supplementary material

10750_2016_3065_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (393 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 393 kb)
10750_2016_3065_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (5 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 5 kb)
10750_2016_3065_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (34 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 33 kb)
10750_2016_3065_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (610 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 610 kb)
10750_2016_3065_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (413 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (PDF 412 kb)
10750_2016_3065_MOESM6_ESM.pdf (10 kb)
Supplementary material 6 (PDF 9 kb)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
  • ICES Science Fund
Xunta de Galicia
  • Agreement nº 070401150009
  • JAE-Doc programme 2011

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Alonso-Fernández
    • 1
  • Jaime Otero
    • 1
  • Rafael Bañón
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jose Manuel Campelos
    • 2
  • Juan Santos
    • 3
  • Gonzalo Mucientes
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones MarinasConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, IIM-CSICVigoSpain
  2. 2.Servizo de Planificación, Dirección Xeral de Ordenación e Xestión dos Recursos MariñosConsellería do Mar - Xunta de GaliciaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Thünen-Institute of Baltic Sea FisheriesRostockGermany
  4. 4.Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos – CIBIO, Universidade do PortoVairãoPortugal
  5. 5.The Laboratory, Citadel HillMarine Biological Association of the United KingdomPlymouthUK

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