MEPS 358:219-230 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07367

Effects of climate change on growth of 0-group sole and plaice

Lorna R. Teal1, Joep J. de Leeuw1, Henk W. van der Veer2, Adriaan D. Rijnsdorp1,*

1Wageningen IMARES (Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies), PO Box 68, 1970 AB Ijmuiden, The Netherlands
2Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), POBox 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The effect of rising seawater temperature on growth of 0-group sole Solea solea and plaice Pleuronectes platessa in the southeastern North Sea was investigated for the period 1970 to 2004 using annual autumn pre-recruit survey data and frequent surveys on a nursery ground. Autumn length showed an increasing trend in sole but not in plaice. Increasing winter temperatures significantly increased the growing period of sole, a warm-water species that spawns in spring, but not of plaice, a temperate species that spawns in winter. Growth rate increased with higher summer temperatures in sole and to a lesser degree in plaice. Compared to experimental growth rates at ambient temperatures and unlimited food, observed growth rates were close to experimental values until mid-June but were much lower in July to September, suggesting food limitation in summer. The higher temperatures observed since 1989 positively affected the quality of the shallow coastal waters as a nursery area for sole but not for plaice. A further increase may negatively affect the nursery quality if the production rate of benthic food cannot meet the increase in energy requirements of 0-group flatfish.


KEY WORDS: Climate change · Temperature · Growth · Food limitation · Juvenile · Sole · Solea solea · Plaice · Pleuronectes platessa · Spawning time · North Sea


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Cite this article as: Teal LR, de Leeuw JJ, van der Veer HW, Rijnsdorp AD (2008) Effects of climate change on growth of 0-group sole and plaice. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 358:219-230. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07367

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