|Seasonal ichthyodiversity and growth patterns of juvenile flatfish on a nursery ground in the Southern Bight of the North Sea (France)|Amara, R. (2003). Seasonal ichthyodiversity and growth patterns of juvenile flatfish on a nursery ground in the Southern Bight of the North Sea (France). Environ. Biol. Fish. 67(2): 191-201. hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1025646622066
In: Environmental Biology of Fishes. Junk: The Hague. ISSN 0378-1909, more
The demersal fish community on a flatfish nursery ground, of the Southern Bight of the North Sea, was sampled monthly between May 1998 and 1999. The studied coastal area is a multispecific nursery area. Although 32 fish species were caught, only nine species had a major influence on the variation in total densities through the year and can be considered as key species. Juvenile sole and plaice exhibited similar seasonal growth patterns with rapid growth during late spring and summer, a growth arrest during autumn and winter and a restart of growth in March. Comparisons of observed growth in length with predicted maximal growth under optimal food conditions suggested that during the summer, growth of 0-group sole and plaice was only determined by prevailing mean water temperature. During autumn and winter, while growth in length of sole followed model predictions, observed length of plaice was less than model predictions, suggesting growth limitation. Analyses of the factors that may be responsible for differences between observed and expected length growth indicated that autumn and winter growth arrest of plaice was not only related to low winter water temperature. It is suggested that for visual feeders such as plaice, the interaction of decreasing food availability and day length during autumn and winter can reduce the access to food resource and therefore feeding success and growth.