Spatial scale, means and gradients of hydrographic variables define pelagic seascapes
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AuthorsÁlvarez-Berastegui, D. (Diego); Cianelli, L.; Hidalgo, M. (Manuel); Aparicio-González, A. (Alberto); Reglero, P. (Patricia); López-Jurado, J.L. (José Luis); Tintoré, J.; Alemany, F. (Francisco)
Operational Oceanography for Fisheries
essential fish habitat
Seascape ecology is an emerging discipline focused on understanding how features of the marine habitat influence the spatial distribution of marine species. However, there is still a gap in the development of concepts and techniques for its application in the marine pelagic realm, where there are no clear boundaries delimitating habitats. Here we demostrate that pelagic seascape metrics defined as a combination of hydrographic variables and their spatial gradients calculated at an appropriate spatial scale, improve our ability to model pelagic fish distribution. We apply the analysis to study the spawning locations of two tuna species: Atlantic bluefin and bullet tuna. These two species represent a gradient in life history strategies. Bluefin tuna has a large body size and is a long-distant migrant, while bullet tuna has a small body size and lives year-round in coastal waters within the Mediterranenan Sea. The results show that the models performance incorporating the proposed ...
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