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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 487:201-215 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10462

Effects of interannual environmental variability on the transport-retention dynamics in haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus larvae on Georges Bank

Jason M. Boucher1,*, Changsheng Chen1, Yunfang Sun1, Robert. C. Beardsley2

1School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, New Bedford, Massachussetts 02742, USA
2Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachussetts 02543, USA

ABSTRACT: Georges Bank is a region of high biological productivity characterized by a well-defined clockwise tidal rectified circulation gyre. Fluctuations in the year-class strength of haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus on Georges Bank have been attributed to mortality during the highly vulnerable larval stages. While predation and starvation greatly impact on survival, advection to unfavorable regions may result in greatly reduced numbers of individuals. For successful self-recruitment to occur, individuals must remain within the shoal region of Georges Bank until settlement. An individual-based model (IBM) was utilized to estimate the retention of haddock eggs and larvae on Georges Bank annually for 1995 through 2009. The IBM was driven by the Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) for the Gulf of Maine domain. Biological components of haddock larvae were omitted to restrict analyses to the impact of circulation on passive transport. Inflow over the Scotian Shelf and tidal interaction patterns were identified as the major drivers of variability in interannual transport-retention dynamics. The simulations indicated that retention rates were highest in 2000 and 2003, and lowest in 1997. The above-average retention in 2000 and 2003 with anomalously large recruitment only in 2003 indicates that high retention appears to be necessary but not sufficient to explain large recruitment events of haddock on Georges Bank.


KEY WORDS: Larval retention · Haddock · Modeling · Georges Bank · Bio-physical coupling · Fish early life history stages · Fish larvae


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Cite this article as: Boucher JM, Chen C, Sun Y, Beardsley RC (2013) Effects of interannual environmental variability on the transport-retention dynamics in haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus larvae on Georges Bank. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 487:201-215. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10462

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