MEPS 362:181-192 (2008)  -  doi:10.3354/meps07437

Bottom-up control of common octopus Octopus vulgaris in the Galician upwelling system, northeast Atlantic Ocean

Jaime Otero1,*, Xosé Antón Álvarez-Salgado1, Ángel F. González1, Ana Miranda2, Steve B. Groom3, José M. Cabanas2, Gerardo Casas2, Ben Wheatley3, Ángel Guerra1

1Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208-Vigo, Spain
2Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de Vigo, Cabo Estay, 36200-Vigo, Spain
3Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the possible underlying causes of the wide interannual fluctuations in catch of the common octopus Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797 in one of the main small-scale fisheries off the coast of Galicia (northwest Spain). Galicia is at the northern boundary of the Iberian–Canary current upwelling system in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, where local winds induce seasonal upwelling, largely driving the annual cycles of primary and secondary production. We hypothesize that such dynamics are also fundamental for the survival of the planktonic stages of octopus and set the year class strength. We address this hypothesis by investigating the influence of upwelling on time-series of octopus fishery data. Wind stress structure during the spring–summer (prior to the hatching peak) and autumn–winter (during the planktonic stage) was found to affect the early life phase of this species, and explains up to 85% of the total variance of the year-to-year variability of the adult catch. Despite this bottom-up modulation via environmental conditions, our results also provide evidence for a between-cohort density-dependent interaction, probably caused by cannibalism and competition for habitat.


KEY WORDS: Octopus vulgaris · Phytoplankton · Zooplankton · Fisheries · Bottom-up control · Upwelling · NE Atlantic Ocean


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Cite this article as: Otero J, Álvarez-Salgado XA, González ÁF, Miranda A and others (2008) Bottom-up control of common octopus Octopus vulgaris in the Galician upwelling system, northeast Atlantic Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 362:181-192

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