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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 673:151-164 (2021)  -  DOI:

Spatial, temporal, and environmental influences on Atlantic cod Gadus morhua offshore recruitment signals in Newfoundland

Emma L. Lunzmann-Cooke1,*, Robert S. Gregory2,3, Paul V. R. Snelgrove1,3, David Cote1,2, César Fuentes-Yaco4

1Department of Ocean Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 0 Marine Lab Rd., St. John’s, NL A1C 5S7, Canada
2Ecological Sciences Section, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 80 East Whitehills Rd, St. John’s, NL A1A 5J7, Canada
3Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 230 Elizabeth Ave., St. John’s, NL A1C 5S7, Canada
4Ecosystem and Ocean Sciences Sector, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 1 Challenger Dr., Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Numerous studies demonstrate the utility of information from coastal seine surveys for monitoring juveniles of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, but few studies have linked such surveys to older ages within cohorts. We related juvenile (age-0 and -1) cod population components at a long-term monitoring site in Newfoundland to offshore pre-adult (age-3) cod recruitment at multiple spatial scales and explored some environmental and biological factors that affect juvenile-recruit relationships. Our models revealed significant relationships between juvenile and pre-adult abundance. The strength of these relationships varied with distance from nursery habitats and among fisheries management zones. Additionally, chlorophyll a concentration and body length during early life stages appeared to influence the strength of the relationship between juvenile and age-3 abundance. The potential to use juveniles as general indicators of future pre-adult abundance can aid in planning for low recruitment years and improve inferences about the response of cod population abundance to environmental changes. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge demonstrating the utility of juvenile surveys in anticipating future year-class strength.

KEY WORDS: Year-class strength · Monitoring · Juvenile · Abundance · Nursery habitat · Coastal survey

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Cite this article as: Lunzmann-Cooke EL, Gregory RS, Snelgrove PVR, Cote D, Fuentes-Yaco C (2021) Spatial, temporal, and environmental influences on Atlantic cod Gadus morhua offshore recruitment signals in Newfoundland. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 673:151-164.

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