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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 491:187-197 (2013)  -  DOI:

Variation in ocean colour may help predict cod and haddock recruitment

M. Kurtis Trzcinski1,*, Emmanuel Devred2, Trevor Platt3, Shubha Sathyendranath3

1Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4A2, Canada
2Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec G1V 0A6, Canada
3Plymouth Marine Laboratory, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK

ABSTRACT: Characteristics of the spring and fall phytoplankton blooms in spawning areas on the Scotian Shelf, Canada, were estimated from remote sensing data. These blooms, along with anomalies in the North Atlantic Oscillation, were used to explain variation in the recruitment of 4 populations of cod and haddock. We tested the effects of the timing of the bloom using the chlorophyll a (chl a) signal, the maximum amount of chl a, the timing of the diatom bloom, and the maximum relative dominance of diatoms on the recruitment (to Age 1) of cod and haddock on the Scotian Shelf. Models were run separately for the effects of the spring and fall blooms. Only 3 of 10 models tested (0-lag) explained significant (80 to 92%) variation in recruitment. However, the performance of these models was not consistent across populations or species, suggesting that generalities about how spring and fall phytoplankton blooms affect recruitment cannot yet be made. The differences among models suggest that fish larvae are probably adapted locally to food production and thus indirectly to the characteristics of the phytoplankton bloom, which in turn are influenced by regional (meso-scale) oceanographic conditions.

KEY WORDS: Recruitment· Phytoplankton bloom · Diatom bloom · Ocean satellite imagery · NAO · Cod · Gadus morhua · Haddock · Melanogrammus aeglefinus

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Cite this article as: Trzcinski MK, Devred E, Platt T, Sathyendranath S (2013) Variation in ocean colour may help predict cod and haddock recruitment. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 491:187-197.

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