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Sardine (Sardina pilchardus) spawning seasonality in European waters of the northeast Atlantic
Stratoudakis, Y.; Coombs, S.; de Lanzos, A.L.; Halliday, N.; Costas, G.; Caneco, B.; Franco, C.; Conway, D.; Santos, M.B.; Silva, A.; Bernal, M. (2007). Sardine (Sardina pilchardus) spawning seasonality in European waters of the northeast Atlantic. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 152(1): 201-212.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Stratoudakis, Y.
  • Coombs, S.
  • de Lanzos, A.L.
  • Halliday, N.
  • Costas, G.
  • Caneco, B.
  • Franco, C.
  • Conway, D.
  • Santos, M.B.
  • Silva, A.
  • Bernal, M.

    Egg data from ichthyoplankton monitoring sites in the western English Channel (1988–2003) and northern Spain (1990–2000) and macroscopic maturity data from biological samples of purse seine landings in western and southern Iberia (1980–2004) are used to describe the spawning seasonality of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) in European waters of the northeast Atlantic using generalised additive models. The fitted models reveal a double peak in spawning activity during early summer and autumn in the western Channel, a wider spring peak off northern Spain and a broad winter season in the western and southern Iberian Peninsula. At all sites, a high probability of spawning activity was observed over at least 3 months of the year, with the duration of the season increasing with both decreasing latitude and increasing fish size. Off western and southern Iberia there are indications that the spawning season has been of longer duration in recent years for all size classes (reaching in some cases 8 months of the year for large fish). These patterns are in general agreement with existing literature and theoretical expectations of sardine spawning being driven locally by the seasonal cycle of water temperature, assuming preferences for spawning at 14 –15°C and avoidance for temperatures below 12°C and above 16°C. Regional quotient plots indicated that spawning tolerance to higher temperatures increases progressively with decreasing latitude. Despite the weak evidence for geographical differences in temperature tolerance that may have some genetic origin, the degree of spatio-temporal overlap in sardine-spawning activity within Atlantic European waters is unlikely to promote any reproductive isolation in that area.

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