Modeling larval dispersal for the gilthead seabream in the northwestern Mediterranean sea

Type Article
Date 2019-12
Language English
Author(s) Lett Christophe3, Barrier Nicolas3, Ourmières Yann2, Petit Cécile3, Labonne Maylis3, Bourjea JeromeORCID1, Darnaude Audrey M.4
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC, IRD, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, Sète, France
2 : Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), UM110, CNRS, IRD, Université de Toulon, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France
3 : MARBEC, IRD, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, Sète, France
4 : MARBEC, IRD, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, Sète, France
Source Marine Environmental Research (0141-1136) (Elsevier BV), 2019-12 , Vol. 152 , P. 104781 (15p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.104781
WOS© Times Cited 6
Keyword(s) Sparus aurata, Gulf of Lions, Fish, Larvae, Models-hydrodynamic, Biophysical model, Connectivity, Otolith

To investigate dispersal and connectivity between spawning and lagoon nursery habitats of the gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata, in the Gulf of Lions (northwestern Mediterranean Sea), we modeled the potential transport of the species’ larvae between its supposed main spawning site in the region (the Planier Island) and two of its main local nursery areas (the coastal lagoons of Thau and Salses-Leucate). Passive larval drift simulations using a dispersal biophysical model showed a large variability in the possible trajectories from spawning to nursery areas and in the predicted ages for larvae arrival on the two nursery sites. The most common ages at arrival obtained in the simulations (20–60 days) are broadly consistent with previous modeling studies but contrast with the actual ages of the S. aurata post-larvae collected in 2016 and 2017 at time of the lagoon entrances (60–90 days, from otolith readings). The period between 25 and 70 days being critical for gilthead seabream larvae to acquire sufficient swimming, osmoregulatory, and olfactory abilities to enter coastal lagoons, we argue that ontogenic development plays a crucial role in the transport and local retention of S. aurata larvae in the studied region, explaining the discrepancy between simulation results and observed data.

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