|Environmental factors affecting the distribution of sole (Solea solea (L.)) within a nursery area|
Rogers, S.I. (1992). Environmental factors affecting the distribution of sole (Solea solea (L.)) within a nursery area. Neth. J. Sea Res. 29(1-3): 153-161
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
This study provides quantitative information on the environment of an important, discrete, sole nursery area on the coast of North Wales, UK. An area of almost 170 km² was surveyed at intervals during a 12-month period to determine the detailed distribution of juvenile sole in relation to a number of environmental variables. Samples of benthos were taken in summer, after the period of larval settlement and recruitment to nursery areas, and a range of variables recorded including sediment granulometric characteristics, water depth and salinity, and the abundance of suitable prey items. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to describe areas of high sole density in terms of their position along these different environmental gradients. Results indicated that the distribution of pre-recruits was patchy, and the extent of these patches was highly dependent on the presence of a homogeneous substrate of median grain diameter less than 0.20 mm. The importance of this observation in explaining the limited patchy distribution and poor catch rates of juvenile soles in the area is discussed.