Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) egg density measurements in the Bay of Biscay: evidence for the spatial variation in egg density with sea surface salinity

Type Article
Date 2007-06
Language English
Author(s) Goarant Anne1, Petitgas Pierre1, Bourriau Paul1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Dept Ecol & Models Fisheries, F-44311 Nantes 3, France.
Source Marine Biology (0025-3162) (Springer), 2007-06 , Vol. 151 , N. 5 , P. 1907-1915
DOI 10.1007/s00227-007-0624-1
WOS© Times Cited 21
Keyword(s) Bay of Biscay, anchovy, fish egg density, Density gradient column
Abstract Knowledge of the pelagic vertical distribution of fish eggs is central for several aspects of fisheries science including fisheries recruitment and egg production studies. In modelling egg vertical distributions, variation in fish egg density is an important issue. Though variation in egg density between individual eggs has been reported, evidence for significant spatial variation in egg density is novel. The present study provides evidence that egg density of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) varies spatially across spawning sites in the Bay of Biscay, depending on the regional scale variation in sea water properties due to river discharge. We measured the density of the eggs using a density gradient column at 17 stations in 2005 and 2006 as well as their diameter. At station, the variability in the individual egg density was statistically distributed according to a Gaussian probability function. Significant variation in the mean egg density was observed across stations. Mean egg density displayed a significant correlation with sea surface salinity. Results are discussed in light of the mechanisms determining the egg density.
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