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Fecundity, atresia, and spawning strategies of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)
van Damme, C.J.G.; Dickey-Collas, M.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.; Kjesbu, O.S. (2009). Fecundity, atresia, and spawning strategies of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 66(12): 2130-2141.
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • van Damme, C.J.G., more
  • Dickey-Collas, M., more
  • Rijnsdorp, A.D., more
  • Kjesbu, O.S.

    Atlantic herring (Clupea horengus) have contrasting spawning strategies, with apparently genetically similar fish "choosing" different spawning seasons, different egg sizes, and different spawning areas. in the North Sea, both autumn- and winter-spawning herring share the same summer feeding area but have different spawning areas. Females of both spawning types start their oocyte development in April-May. Oocyte development is influenced by the body energy content, during the maturation cycle, fecundity is down-regulated through atresia in relation to the actual body condition. Hence, fecundity estimates must account for the relative time of sampling. The down-regulation over the whole maturation period is approximately 20% in autumn- and 50% in winter-spawning herring. The development of the oocytes is the same for both spawning strategies until autumn when autumn spawners spawn a larger number of small eggs. In winter spawners, oocyte development and down-regulation of fecundity continues, resulting in larger eggs and lower number spawned. In theory, autumn and winter spawners could therefore switch spawning strategies, indicating a high level of reproductive plasticity.

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