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MEPS 168:45-56 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/meps168045

Spatial and temporal patterns of settlement among sparid fishes of the genus Diplodus in the northwestern Mediterranean

Laurent Vigliola1, Mireille L. Harmelin-Vivien1,*, Franco Biagi2,3, René Galzin4, Antoni Garcia-Rubies5, Jean-Georges Harmelin1, Jean-Yves Jouvenel4, Laurence Le Direach-Boursier1,6, Enrique Macpherson5, Leonardo Tunesi7

1Centre d'Oceanologie de Marseille, CNRS UMR 6540, Université de la Méditerranée, Station Marine D'Endoume, F-13007 Marseille, France
2Universitá di Pisa, Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Uomo e dell'Ambiente-DSUA, Via A. Volta 6, I-56100, Italy
3Centro Interuniversitario di Biologia Marina ed Ecologica Applicata-CIBM, I-52127 Livorno, Italy
4Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, CNRS URA 1453, Université de Perpignan, F-66860 Perpignan Cedex, France
5CSIC, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes, Camino de Santa Barbara, E-17300 Blanes, Spain
6GIS Posidonie, Parc Scientifique et Technologique de Luminy, Case 901, F-13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
7ICRAM, Via L. Respighi 5, I-00197 Roma, Italy

ABSTRACT: Juvenile settlement of 3 sparid fish species, Diplodus puntazzo, Diplodus sargus and Diplodus vulgaris, was studied over 3 yr at 20 stations located at 5 sites in the NW Mediterranean Sea: 1 site in Spain (Girona), 2 in France (Banyuls and Marseille) and 2 in Italy (Portofino and Elba). When all sites and years were combined, 71% of the settlers recorded belonged to D. vulgaris, 25% to D. sargus and 4% to D. puntazzo. Settlement was seasonal, with D. sargus settling in May-June, D. puntazzo in October-November, and D. vulgaris in 2 pulses, the first in November-December and the second in January-February. Settlement intensity varied spatially, temporally, and among species. At a small spatial scale (within site), settlement intensity varied between stations and particularly between years. At a large spatial scale (among sites), settlement intensity varied among sites, with Marseille and Girona generally experiencing higher settlement than other sites. No difference in settlement intensity was observed between protected and unprotected areas. The settlement of D. sargus was higher in 1994 than in 1993 and 1995 at all sites, suggesting the influence of meso-scale hydroclimatic conditions on the settlement success of this species. The settlement of D. vulgaris was higher in 1993 in the western part of the NW Mediterranean, and in 1994 in the eastern part. No consistent spatial trend over time was seen for D. puntazzo. Thus, settlement intensity of Diplodus species to nearshore habitats in the NW Mediterranean exhibited high year-to-year variations at both local and regional scales.

KEY WORDS: Settlement · Sparid fish · NW Mediterranean · Spatial variability · Temporal fluctuations

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