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Small-scale temporal and spatial variation in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) life history
McIntyre, T.M.; Hutchings, J.A. (2003). Small-scale temporal and spatial variation in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) life history. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 60(9): 1111-1121
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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    Fecundity; Life history; Marine fish; Spatial variations; Temporal variations; ANW, Canada, St. Lawrence Gulf [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • McIntyre, T.M.
  • Hutchings, J.A.

    Life histories of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) from the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to Georges Bank differ significantly through time and space. Within the Southern Gulf, fecundity per unit body mass differed by more than 40% over short (2 years) and long (42-45 years) periods of time. Significant variation in size-specific fecundity is also evident among populations: Southern Gulf cod produce almost 30% more eggs per unit body mass than those on Georges Bank, whereas fecundity of Scotian Shelf cod is almost half that of cod in Sydney Bight. Compared with those on Georges Bank, Southern Gulf cod life histories are characterized by high fecundity, late maturity, high gonadosomatic index, and large eggs. Relative to the influence of body size, neither temporal nor spatial differences in fecundity can be attributed to physiological condition, as reflected by liver weight, hepatosomatic index, and Fulton's K. Delayed maturity and higher reproductive allotment among Southern Gulf cod can be explained as selection responses to slower growth, higher prereproductive mortality, and fewer lifetime reproductive events. Patterns of covariation in heritable, fitness-related traits suggest the existence of adaptive variation and evolutionarily significant units at spatial scales considerably smaller than the species range in the Northwest Atlantic.

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