The impact of physical and biological factors on the drift and spatial distribution of larval sprat: A comparison of the Baltic and North Seas.

Hinrichsen, Hans-Harald, Kühn, Wilfried, Peck, Myron A. and Voss, Rüdiger (2012) The impact of physical and biological factors on the drift and spatial distribution of larval sprat: A comparison of the Baltic and North Seas. Progress in Oceanography, 107 . pp. 47-60. DOI 10.1016/j.pocean.2012.05.004.

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Abstract

We employed coupled 3-D biophysical models to better understand the effects of physical forcing conditions as well as differences in vertical distribution and growth performance on the spatial distribution of larval sprat (Sprattus sprattus) in the North and the Baltic Sea. Our model simulations analysed the influence of abiotic and biotic forcing variability on larval transport and the seasonal and inter-annual variability in spatial distribution of larvae originating from different spawning areas in each of the two systems. Due to strong spatial and temporal differences in temperature, drift durations differed between the two ecosystems. During cold spring and warm summer periods, drift durations in the Baltic were ∼35 and 15 days, respectively, but were somewhat shorter (30 and 10 d) in the North Sea. Changes in larval feeding rates markedly impacted larval growth rate and stage duration, and, hence, environmental histories experienced by larvae as well as their final distribution. Generally, specific spawning sites were relatively well connected to specific juvenile nursery areas in the Baltic. However, in the North Sea, considerable mixing of sprat populations occurred with frontal areas acted as convergence zones for older larvae originating from different spawning sites. The mixing and/or co-occurrence of 18-mm larvae from different source regions were greatest (least) in the early spring (summer) for larvae at colder (warmer) temperatures having longer (shorter) drift durations. Generally, such high mixing probability would not promote small- or medium-scale population distinctness of North Sea sprat. The results of our coupled hydrodynamic/trophodynamic model simulations provide a baseline in quantifying and understanding larval sprat transport in these different ecosystems and exemplify the extent to which environmental variability (e.g., differences in temperature as well as prey availability) can influence spatial distributions of larval fish.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000312425500004
Keywords: Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes; larval sprat; Sprattus sprattus; Baltic Sea; North Sea; EARLY-LIFE STAGES; VERTICAL-DISTRIBUTION; ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABILITY; ZOOPLANKTON DYNAMICS; MODELING APPROACH; CLUPEA-HARENGUS; COPEPOD NAUPLII; COD RECRUITMENT; REGIME SHIFTS; FISH EGGS; ALKOR; GERMAN GLOBEC Cruise
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.pocean.2012.05.004
ISSN: 0079-6611
Projects: GLOBEC, UNCOVER, RECLAIM, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2012 07:28
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 12:58
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/14839

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