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Long-term trends in the distribution, abundance and seasonal occurrence of larvae of mackerel (Scomber scombrus L.) around the British Isles, 1948-1978
Coombs, S.H.; Mitchell, C.E. (1981). Long-term trends in the distribution, abundance and seasonal occurrence of larvae of mackerel (Scomber scombrus L.) around the British Isles, 1948-1978. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 61: 343-358
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Geographical distribution; Seasonal variations; Scomber scombrus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; ANE, British Isles [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Coombs, S.H.
  • Mitchell, C.E.

Abstract
    There were two main areas of larval concentration: in the North Sea and over and adjacent to the Celtic Plateau; subsidiary aggregations were observed to the northwest of Ireland and to the west of Norway. There were some similarities between the distribution of larvae around the British Isles and that of adult Calanus spp. In the North Sea there was a southerly shift of larval distribution over the period 1948-77; over a similar period the abundance of larvae increased to reach high numbers by the late 1950s and subsequently declined after the mid-60s. To the southwest of the British Isles numbers of larvae showed a long-term decline. The long-term trends of distribution and abundance are discussed in relation to concurrent biological and environmental change. The clearest relationship was found between the numbers of mackerel larvae in the North Sea and sea-surface temperature in the North Atlantic, which suggests a common causative agent for both sets of observations; there was a weak relationship with both spawning stock biomass and sea-surface temperature at the spawning areas. In the North Sea the seasonal occurrence of larvae was from May to August, the majority being taken in June and July; over the period 1948-77 the seasonal time of occurrence of highest numbers of larvae has remained relatively constant. In the Celtic Sea the seasonal occurrence of larvae was spread over a longer period, from March to August, with relatively high numbers from March to June; over the period 1950-78 the time of occurrence has been variable, possibly with a tendency towards later timing in more recent years.

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