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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 362:261-277 (2008)  -  DOI:

Spatial and temporal trends in condition of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua on the Icelandic shelf

Heidi Pardoe1,2,*, Gudmundur Thórdarson1, Gudrun Marteinsdóttir2

1Marine Research Institute, Skúlagata 4, PO Box 1390, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland
2Institute of Biology, University of Iceland, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

ABSTRACT: Interannual (1993 to 2006), spatial and bathymetric trends in the hepatosomatic index (H) and relative body condition index (Kr) of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua in Icelandic waters were investigated from data collected during annual spring (March) groundfish surveys. Individual stomach content data were analysed to assess the relationship between condition and consumption of capelin Mallotus villosus. Liver condition was found to vary with region and depth, tending to be highest in deeper water and in the northern and eastern regions; where temperatures were relatively cold and capelin consumption relatively high. A continuous decline in condition of cod in waters off the east coast was observed throughout the study period. Mature cod were found to be in significantly better condition than immature cod of the same age, and mature females were in better condition than mature males. Different patterns emerged from the 2 condition indices; little variation in Kr was observed whereas H was found to be a dynamic index of condition, suggesting that these metrics are not equivalent measures of cod bioenergetic condition.

KEY WORDS: Cod · Iceland · Liver condition · Body condition · Spatial variation · Bathymetric variation · Capelin · Stomach content

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Cite this article as: Pardoe H, Thórdarson G, Marteinsdóttir G (2008) Spatial and temporal trends in condition of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua on the Icelandic shelf. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 362:261-277.

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