Environmental and biological characteristics of Atlantic bluefin tuna and albacore spawning habitats based on their egg distributions
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AuthorsReglero, P. (Patricia); Santos, M. (María); Balbín, R. (Rosa); Laiz-Carrión, R. (Raúl); Álvarez-Berastegui, D. (Diego); Ciannelli, L. (Lorenzo); Jiménez, E. (Elisa); Alemany, F. (Francisco)
Tuna spawning habitats are traditionally characterized using data sets of larvae or gonads from mature adults and concurrent environmental variables. Data on egg distributions have never previously been used since molecular analyses are mandatory to identify tuna eggs to species level. However, in this study we use molecularly derived egg distribution data, in addition to larval data, to characterize hydrographic and biological drivers of the spatial distribution of eggs and larvae of bluefin Thunnus thynnus and albacore tuna Thunnus alalunga in the Balearic Sea, a main spawning area of these species in the Mediterranean. The effects of the hydrography, characterized by salinity, temperature and geostrophic velocity, on the spatial distributions of the eggs and larvae are investigated. Three biological variables are used to describe the productivity in the area: chlorophyll a in the mixed layer, chlorophyll a in the deep chlorophyll maximum and mesozooplankton biomass in the mixed layer. ...
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