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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 405:203-219 (2010)  -  DOI:

Fluctuations of brown shrimp Crangon crangon abundance in the western Dutch Wadden Sea

Joana Campos*,1,2, Ana Bio1, Joana F. M. F. Cardoso1,2, Rob Dapper2, Johannes I. J. Witte2, Henk W. van der Veer2

1CIMAR/CIIMAR, Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal
2NIOZ, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg Texel, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: Long-term trends in brown shrimp Crangon crangon abundance were studied near the entrance of the Dutch Wadden Sea using a 34 yr time series of fyke net catches. A general trend of increasing abundance was observed. In autumn, brown shrimp abundance was 5 times greater than in spring, and interannual fluctuations were also more pronounced. Biotic and abiotic conditions showed effects with time lags of up to 1 yr, which is consistent with the species’ life cycle. The population responded rapidly to changes in environmental conditions: abrupt declines after adverse conditions, as in spring 1999, were followed by steep recoveries in the following autumn. Two hypotheses were tested and discussed: (1) autumn recruitment is related to predator abundance and temperature during previous warmer seasons, and (2) overwintering adult abundance is determined by predation pressure and abiotic conditions in winter. In general, predator abundance was the main factor correlated to brown shrimp abundance, especially in autumn. Multiple linear regression modelling showed that predators altogether accounted for up to 55% in spring and up to 85% in autumn of the explained variance. Previous winter conditions such as sunshine duration, salinity and fresh water discharge, and the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI) were also correlated with autumn abundance. Yet, temperature conditions during the previous growing season did not determine the autumn stock size. Winter sunshine duration and the winter NAOI were correlated with spring stock size. Additionally, temperature and salinity were relevant factors affecting abundance during spring. A significant positive relationship between spring and autumn abundance and annual commercial landings was also found.

KEY WORDS: Long-term trends · Crangon crangon · Dutch Wadden Sea

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Cite this article as: Campos J, Bio A, Cardoso JFMF, Dapper R, Witte JIJ, van der Veer HW (2010) Fluctuations of brown shrimp Crangon crangon abundance in the western Dutch Wadden Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 405:203-219.

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