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Fine-scale distribution of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) eggs and adults during a spawning event
Zwolinski, J.; Mason, E.; Oliveira, P.B.; Stratoudakis, Y. (2006). Fine-scale distribution of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) eggs and adults during a spawning event. J. Sea Res. 56(4): 294-304.
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Dispersion; Eggs; Geographical distribution; Spawning; Spawning grounds; Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum, 1792) [WoRMS]; ANE, Cadiz Gulf [Marine Regions]; ANE, Portugal, Algarve [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Zwolinski, J.
  • Mason, E.
  • Oliveira, P.B.
  • Stratoudakis, Y.

    High-resolution acoustic and ichtyoplankton sampling with a 'continuous under-way fish egg sampler (CUFES)' was performed in two regions of approximately 100 square nautical miles off southern Iberian Peninsula, with the aim of studying the small scale distribution of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) adults and eggs during a spawning event. Very dense patches (246 eggs m-3) of recently spawned eggs with dimensions (up to 3 nautical miles wide) significantly larger than daytime sardine schools were present in both regions. Egg staging and ageing showed very little intra-sample variation, indicating a synchronous spawning period at dusk. The internal structure of the patches evaluated by variography showed very low internal variability, as if they consisted of a single unit. This hypothesis is confirmed by the acoustic finding of large sardine shoals with similar dimensions to those of the patches after sunset and throughout the night. During that period, adults were found near or in contact with the bottom, suggesting that spawning occurred at depth. A distinct patch of older eggs was found in both areas, but with a few nautical miles of horizontal separation. Their characteristics (a larger area, lower egg densities and a more irregular shape) indicate that these patches were exposed to dispersion and 'stirring' by physical forces, reshaping their initial appearance, while mesoscale water circulation could have displaced the core of the patches away by several kilometres within a day.

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