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A comparative analysis of recruitment variability in North Atlantic flatfishes - testing the species range hypothesis. pp.281-299

By: Leggett, William C | Office of the Pincipal and Department of Biology Queen's University, Kingston
Contributor(s): Frank, Kenneth T | Department of Fisheries and Oceans Marine Fish Division
Material type: TextTextLanguage: English Publisher: Netherlands Netherlands Institute for Research 1997ISSN: 1385-1101Subject(s): Variación latitudinal | Pre-recluta de supervivencia | Densidad de la independencia / dependencia | Atlántico NorteSummary: The hypothesis that recruitment variation in flatfishes should be most variable at the northern edge of the species range, least near the centre of the range, and intermediate near the southern limit was tested using stock and recruitment data generated from sequential population analysis for several different flatfish stocks involving four species (plaice Pleuronectes platessa, sole Solea vulgaris from the eastern Atlantic, American plaice Hippoglossoides platessoides, and yellowtail flounder Limanda ferruginae from the western Atlantic). Several groundfish species have been found to conform to this so-called species range hypothesis with the suggestion that density-independent processes predominate at the edges of the distributional range and density-dependent processes dominate in the centre of the range. Our results were generally inconsistent with the hypothesis: the coefficient of variation (CV) of recruitment for plaice in the eastern Atlantic was independent of latitude, the CV of recruitment for sole exhibited a dome-shaped relationship with latitude with the highest CVs occurring at the mid-point of the range, and the CV of recruitment for the western Atlantic stocks exhibited a monotonic decrease with latitude. We extended our latitudinal analyses by assessing both the degree of dependency of recruitment on spawning stock biomass and the spatial and temporal scales of variability in recruitment and pre-recruit survival for the eastern Atlantic stocks. In general our analysis revealed no evidence of a strong stock and recruitment relationship for any of the stocks examined, and previously published analyses revealed no such patterns with latitude. Analysis of both de-trended recruitment and pre-recruit survival time series over the species ranges of sole and plaice revealed strong positive correlations among adjacent stocks and inverse correlations among stocks at the extremes of the range. Recruitment variation in the flatfish stocks examined appears to be dominated by density-independent factors, operating at a local scale, on the egg and larval stages.
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The hypothesis that recruitment variation in flatfishes should be most variable at the northern edge of the species range, least near the centre of the range, and intermediate near the southern limit was tested using stock and recruitment data generated from sequential population analysis for several different flatfish stocks involving four species (plaice Pleuronectes platessa, sole Solea vulgaris from the eastern Atlantic, American plaice Hippoglossoides platessoides, and yellowtail flounder Limanda ferruginae from the western Atlantic). Several groundfish species have been found to conform to this so-called species range hypothesis with the suggestion that density-independent processes predominate at the edges of the distributional range and density-dependent processes dominate in the centre of the range. Our results were generally inconsistent with the hypothesis: the coefficient of variation (CV) of recruitment for plaice in the eastern Atlantic was independent of latitude, the CV of recruitment for sole exhibited a dome-shaped relationship with latitude with the highest CVs occurring at the mid-point of the range, and the CV of recruitment for the western Atlantic stocks exhibited a monotonic decrease with latitude. We extended our latitudinal analyses by assessing both the degree of dependency of recruitment on spawning stock biomass and the spatial and temporal scales of variability in recruitment and pre-recruit survival for the eastern Atlantic stocks. In general our analysis revealed no evidence of a strong stock and recruitment relationship for any of the stocks examined, and previously published analyses revealed no such patterns with latitude. Analysis of both de-trended recruitment and pre-recruit survival time series over the species ranges of sole and plaice revealed strong positive correlations among adjacent stocks and inverse correlations among stocks at the extremes of the range. Recruitment variation in the flatfish stocks examined appears to be dominated by density-independent factors, operating at a local scale, on the egg and larval stages.

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