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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 696:85-102 (2022)  -  DOI:

Asynchronized spawning responses of small pelagic fishes to a short-term environmental change

Maik Tiedemann1,*, Ismaïla Ndour2, Fambaye Ngom Sow2, Espen Bagøien1, Jens-Otto Krakstad1, Marek Ostrowski1, Erling Kåre Stenevik1, Tor Ensrud1, Stamatina Isari1

1Institute of Marine Research, 5817 Bergen, Norway
2Centre de Recherches Océanographiques de Dakar-Thiaroye, 11500 Dakar, Senegal
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We provide substantial evidence on how short-term changes in environmental conditions activate and deactivate spawning activities in small pelagic fishes. An ichthyoplankton survey was conducted along the southernmost part of the Canary Current upwelling ecosystem in May 2013, covering the area twice within 20 d. This period coincided with a strong environmental change from a cold productive upwelling regime to a warmer and less productive upwelling relaxation event. This change triggered a shift in spawning activity from European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus to round/flat sardinella Sardinella spp. We used zero-altered negative binomial regression models with a generalized additive structure based on integrated nested Laplace approximations to link early larval distribution patterns to the 2 different regimes. The models confirmed 2 species-specific temperature spawning windows, suggesting a spawning pause of anchovy during upwelling relaxation while simultaneously activating spawning in sardinella. Observing immediate spawning responses to the 2 environmental regimes underlines the assumption that windows of spawning opportunity are the main drivers of small pelagic fish fluctuations in upwelling regions. The duration of a specific environmental condition can, therefore, increase or decrease the chances for reproductive success. The observations of this study may explain why certain small pelagic fish species can dominate over others during a particular period and might also apply to other upwelling regions of the world oceans where upwelling and relaxation events alternate.

KEY WORDS: Anchovy · Sardinella · Upwelling · Canary Current Ecosystem · INLA · Integrated nested Laplace approximations · Early life history stages · Senegalese sub-region

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Cite this article as: Tiedemann M, Ndour I, Sow FN, Bagøien E and others (2022) Asynchronized spawning responses of small pelagic fishes to a short-term environmental change. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 696:85-102.

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