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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 378:1-11 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07873

FEATURE ARTICLE
Life history of the neon flying squid: effect of the oceanographic regime in the North Pacific Ocean

Taro Ichii1,*, Kedarnath Mahapatra2, Mitsuo Sakai1, Yoshihiro Okada3

1National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa, Yokohama-city, Kanagawa 236-8648, Japan
2Tokai University Frontier Ocean Research Center (T-FORCE), 3-20-1 Orido, Shimizu-ward, Shizuoka-city, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan
3School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University, 3-20-1 Orido, Shimizu-ward, Shizuoka-city, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan

ABSTRACT: The North Pacific Ocean population of the neon flying squid Ommastrephes bartramii, which undertakes seasonal north–south migrations, consists of autumn and winter–spring spawning cohorts. We examined life history differences between the 2 cohorts in relation to the oceanographic environment. The differences could be explained by seasonal north–south movements of the following 2 oceanographic zones: (1) the optimum spawning zone defined by sea surface temperatures; and (2) the food-rich zone defined by the position of the transition zone chlorophyll front (TZCF). The 2 cohorts use the food-rich zone in different phases of their life cycles. The spawning grounds for the autumn cohort occur within the subtropical frontal zone (STFZ), characterized by enhanced productivity in winter due to its proximity to the TZCF, whereas the spawning grounds for the winter–spring cohort occur within the subtropical domain, which is less productive. As the TZCF shifts northward in spring, the autumn cohort continues to occur in the productive area north of the TZCF, whereas the winter–spring cohort remains in the less productive area to the south until it migrates into productive waters north of the TZCF in the summer or autumn. Consequently, the autumn cohort grows faster than the winter–spring cohort during the first half of its life cycle, whereas the winter–spring cohort grows faster during the second half. This growth pattern may be responsible for differing migration patterns; males of the autumn cohort do not have to migrate given their early fast growth in the STFZ, whereas those of the winter–spring cohort must migrate to the food-rich subarctic frontal zone to compensate for their slow growth. These biological and ecological differences between the 2 cohorts suggest flexibility of their life history response to oceanographic environments.


KEY WORDS: Neon flying squid · Red flying squid · Ommastrephes bartramii · Life history flexibility · Seasonal cohorts · Transition zone chlorophyll front · Subtropical frontal zone · Seasonal migration


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Cite this article as: Ichii T, Mahapatra K, Sakai M, Okada Y (2009) Life history of the neon flying squid: effect of the oceanographic regime in the North Pacific Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 378:1-11. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07873

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