New insights into the reproductive cycle of two Great Scallop populations in Brittany (France) using a DEB modelling approach

The present study aimed to improve understanding of the environmental conditions influencing the reproductive cycle of the great scallop Pecten maximus in two locations in Brittany (France). We also evaluated potential consequences of future climate change for reproductive success in each site.

We simulated reproductive traits (spawning occurrences and synchronicity among individuals) of P. maximus, using an existing Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model. To validate and test the model, we used biological and environmental datasets available for the Bay of Brest (West Brittany, France) between 1998 and 2003. We also applied the scallop DEB model in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc (North Brittany, France) for the same period (1998–2003) to compare the reproductive cycle in different environmental conditions. In order to accurately model the P. maximus reproductive cycle we improved the scallop DEB model in two ways: through (1) energy acquisition, by incorporating microphytobenthos as a new food source; and (2) the reproductive process, by adding a new state variable dedicated to the gamete production. Finally, we explored the effects of two contrasting IPCC climate scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5) on the reproductive cycle of P. maximus in these two areas at the 2100 horizon.

In the Bay of Brest, the simulated reproductive cycle was in agreement with field observations. The model reproduced three main spawning events every year (between May and September) and asynchronicity in the timing of spawning between individuals. In the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, only two summer spawning events (in July and August) were simulated, with a higher synchronicity between individuals. Environmental conditions (temperature and food sources) were sufficient to explain this well-known geographic difference in the reproductive strategy of P. maximus. Regarding the forecasting approach, the model showed that, under a warm scenario (RCP8.5), autumnal spawning would be enhanced at the 2100 horizon with an increase of seawater temperature in the Bay of Brest, whatever the food source conditions. In the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, warmer temperatures may impact reproductive phenology through an earlier onset of spawning by 20 to 44 days depending on the year.


Pecten maximus, DEB theory, reproduction cycle, IPCC scenarios, Bay of Brest, Bay of Saint-Brieuc

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Gourault Melaine, Lavaud Romain, Leynaert Aude, Pecquerie Laure, Paulet Yves-Marie, Pouvreau Stephane (2019). New insights into the reproductive cycle of two Great Scallop populations in Brittany (France) using a DEB modelling approach. Journal Of Sea Research. 143. 207-221.,

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