Cibm Centro Interuniversitario Of Biologia Marina Ed Ecologia Applicata

Livorno, Italy

Cibm Centro Interuniversitario Of Biologia Marina Ed Ecologia Applicata

Livorno, Italy
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Keller S.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Quetglas A.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Puerta P.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Bitetto I.,COISPA Tecnologia & Ricerca | And 20 more authors.
Progress in Oceanography | Year: 2017

The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by large scale gradients of temperature, productivity and salinity, in addition to pronounced mesoscale differences. Such a heterogeneous system is expected to shape the population dynamics of marine species. On the other hand, prevailing environmental and climatic conditions at whole basin scale may force spatially distant populations to fluctuate in synchrony. Cephalopods are excellent case studies to test these hypotheses owing to their high sensitivity to environmental conditions. Data of two cephalopod species with contrasting life histories (benthic octopus vs nectobenthic squid), obtained from scientific surveys carried out throughout the Mediterranean during the last 20 years were analyzed. The objectives of this study and the methods used to achieve them (in parentheses) were: (i) to investigate synchronies in spatially separated populations (decorrelation analysis); (ii) detect underlying common abundance trends over distant regions (dynamic factor analysis, DFA); and (iii) analyse putative influences of key environmental drivers such as productivity and sea surface temperature on the population dynamics at regional scale (general linear models, GLM). In accordance with their contrasting spatial mobility, the distance from where synchrony could no longer be detected (decorrelation scale) was higher in squid than in octopus (349 vs 217 km); for comparison, the maximum distance between locations was 2620 km. The DFA revealed a general increasing trend in the abundance of both species in most areas, which agrees with the already reported worldwide proliferation of cephalopods. DFA results also showed that population dynamics are more similar in the eastern than in the western Mediterranean basin. According to the GLM models, cephalopod populations were negatively affected by productivity, which would be explained by an increase of competition and predation by fishes. While warmer years coincided with declining octopus numbers, areas of high sea surface temperature showed higher densities of squid. Our results are relevant for regional fisheries management and demonstrate that the regionalisation objectives envisaged under the new Common Fishery Policy may not be adequate for Mediterranean cephalopod stocks. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Keller S.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Bartolino V.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Hidalgo M.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Bitetto I.,COISPA Tecnologia and Ricerca | And 19 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Species diversity is widely recognized as an important trait of ecosystems' functioning and resilience. Understanding the causes of diversity patterns and their interaction with the environmental conditions is essential in order to effectively assess and preserve existing diversity. While diversity patterns of most recurrent groups such as fish are commonly studied, other important taxa such as cephalopods have received less attention. In this work we present spatio-temporal trends of cephalopod diversity across the entire Mediterranean Sea during the last 19 years, analysing data from the annual bottom trawl survey MEDITS conducted by 5 different Mediterranean countries using standardized gears and sampling protocols. The influence of local and regional environmental variability in different Mediterranean regions is analysed applying generalized additive models, using species richness and the Shannon Wiener index as diversity descriptors. While the western basin showed a high diversity, our analyses do not support a steady eastward decrease of diversity as proposed in some previous studies. Instead, high Shannon diversity was also found in the Adriatic and Aegean Seas, and high species richness in the eastern Ionian Sea. Overall diversity did not show any consistent trend over the last two decades. Except in the Adriatic Sea, diversity showed a hump-shaped trend with depth in all regions, being highest between 200-400 m depth. Our results indicate that high Chlorophyll a concentrations and warmer temperatures seem to enhance species diversity, and the influence of these parameters is stronger for richness than for Shannon diversity. © 2016 Keller et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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