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MEPS 650:81-94 (2020)  -  DOI:

Match-mismatch dynamics in the Norwegian-Barents Sea system

A. Sofia A. Ferreira1,*, Leif C. Stige1, Anna B. Neuheimer2,3, Bjarte Bogstad4, Natalia Yaragina5, Irina Prokopchuk5, Joël M. Durant1

1Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Blindernveien 31, 0371 Oslo, Norway
2Department of Oceanography, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
3Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
4Institute of Marine Research, PO Box 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen, Norway
5Polar branch of Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, VNIRO (‘PINRO’ named after N.M. Knipovich), Knipovich-St. 6, 183038 Murmansk, Russia
*Corresponding author:
Advance View was available online April 9, 2020;subsequently updated April 15, 2020

ABSTRACT: A key process affecting variation in the recruitment of fish into fisheries is the spatio-temporal overlap between prey and predator (match-mismatch hypothesis, MMH). The Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua and its dominant prey, the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, have long been studied in the Norwegian-Barents Sea system. However, the mechanistic explanation of how cod survival is affected by MMH dynamics remains unclear. Most MMH studies have focused on either the time synchrony or the spatial overlap between trophic levels. Here, we used G. morhua larvae and C. finmarchicus data collected in the Norwegian-Barents Sea via ichthyoplankton surveys from 1959-1992 to assess the effect of the predator-prey relationship on predator recruitment to the fisheries at age 3 (as a measure of survival) and to develop a metric of predator-prey overlap using spatio-temporal statistical models. We then compared the interannual variability of the predator-prey overlap with the predator’s abundance at recruitment to assess how MMH dynamics explain the survival of cod during its early life stages. We found that the amount of overlap between cod larvae (length: 11-15 mm) and their prey explained 29% of cod recruitment variability. Positive correlations between predator-prey overlap and subsequent recruitment were also found for predators of 6-10 and 16-20 mm, but not for 21+ mm. This improved predator-prey overlap metric is thus (1) useful to better understand how predator-prey dynamics at early life stages of fish impact the survival of later stages; and (2) a valuable tool for assessing the state of an ecosystem.

KEY WORDS: Spatial overlap · Phenology · Predator-prey dynamics · Match-mismatch hypothesis · Recruitment variability · Gadus morhua · Calanus finmarchicus

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Cite this article as: Ferreira ASA, Stige LC, Neuheimer AB, Bogstad B, Yaragina N, Prokopchuk I, Durant JM (2020) Match-mismatch dynamics in the Norwegian-Barents Sea system. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 650:81-94.

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