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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 617-618:113-136 (2019)  -  DOI:

Spawning stock, egg production and larval survival in relation to small pelagic fish recruitment

Stylianos Somarakis*, Stavroula Tsoukali, Marianna Giannoulaki, Eudoxia Schismenou, Nikolaos Nikolioudakis

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters (IMBRIW), Thalassocosmos Gournes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
*Corresponding author:
Advance View was available online July 17, 2018

ABSTRACT: Under the general framework of existing recruitment hypotheses, knowledge on the drivers and mechanisms involved in the determination of the year class strength of small pelagic fish (SPF) is briefly reviewed with focus on selected aspects of the adult and larval stages, related to breeding patterns, egg production, spawning habitats, reproductive potential and early life survival. An analysis of stock-recruitment time series data is carried out, showing that the maximum recruitment capacity of clupeoid stocks increases with the strength of temporal autocorrelation in recruitment (R) and decreases as the coefficient of variation of R becomes larger. Reproductive strategy in combination with the thermal and trophic conditions of the ecosystem and the life cycle pattern of the stock can influence the relative importance of high and low frequency variability in recruitment that combine to generate the population fluctuations of SPF. Selective fishing can reduce the reproductive potential and alter the spawning phenology of the stocks. To understand the ways by which the distribution, abundance and survival of larval stages are influenced by trophodynamic and physical factors, it is important to recognize all those milestones in fish ontogeny associated with significant changes in capabilities and behavior (e.g. onset of schooling). Temperature affects many parameters related to egg production and early life survival, but the relative importance of such temperature effects is expected to differ substantially in contrasting SPF habitats.

KEY WORDS: Small pelagic fish · Recruitment · Stock-recruit relationships · Capital-income breeding · Stock reproductive potential · Larval growth and survival

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Cite this article as: Somarakis S, Tsoukali S, Giannoulaki M, Schismenou E, Nikolioudakis N (2019) Spawning stock, egg production and larval survival in relation to small pelagic fish recruitment. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 617-618:113-136.

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