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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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:1-13 (2020)  -  DOI:

Spatio-temporal patterns of larval fish settlement in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

Robin Faillettaz1, Raphaël Voué1, Romain Crec’hriou2, Laure-Hélène Garsi3, Gilles Lecaillon4, Sylvia Agostini3, Philippe Lenfant2, Jean-Olivier Irisson1,*

1Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer, LOV, 06230 Villefranche-sur-mer, France
2CEFREM, UMR5110 CNRS/UPVD, Université de Perpignan, 66860 Perpignan, France
3Laboratoire Sciences Pour l’Environnement, UMR 6134 CNRS/UCPP, Université de Corse, France
4Ecocean, 34070 Montpellier, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Most coastal fish species spend their early life stages in the pelagic environment, before settling in coastal habitats. The variability in the arrival of larvae to coastal habitats provides information on the species’ biology and recruitment potential. To explore the dynamics of larval fish supply to coastal habitats in the NW Mediterranean Sea, 13 sites were monitored using light-traps, from July 2012 to December 2015. Most variation in catches per unit effort (CPUE) among topographic basins and species were statistically significant for high (quantile 75%) and very high (quantile 90%) catches only. At the yearly scale, CPUE displayed strong seasonality, and 3 main species assemblages were detected in late spring-early summer, summer and late autumn-early winter. At the monthly scale, CPUE were higher around the new moon for all quantiles and temporally autocorrelated at a lag of ~28 d. Larval supply also varied spatially with site-specific associations and with riverine influence. Altogether, these results confirm that the previously described patterns of larval supply observed in tropical and subtropical environments (e.g. the high variability at all spatial and temporal scales and the strong influence of the moon) also apply to Mediterranean fish assemblages. Our quantile-based approach demonstrated that the larval supply in the NW Mediterranean Sea is a solid candidate for monitoring the state of the marine ecosystems, highlighting the need to continue such time series.

KEY WORDS: Fish larvae · Larval supply · Light-traps · NW Mediterranean Sea ·Monitoring time series

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Cite this article as: Faillettaz R, Voué R, Crec’hriou R, Garsi LH and others (2020) Spatio-temporal patterns of larval fish settlement in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser :1-13.

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