Temperature strongly correlates with regional patterns of body size variation in Mediterranean small pelagic fish species

Type Article
Date 2021-12
Language English
Author(s) Hattab TarekORCID1, Gucu AliORCID2, Ventero AnaORCID3, de Felice Andrea4, Machias Athanassios5, Saraux Claire1, 6, Gašparević Denis7, Basilone Gualtiero8, Costantini Ilaria4, Leonori Iole4, Bourdeix Jean-Herve1, Iglesias Magdalena3, Barra Marco9, Giannoulaki Marianna5, Ferreri Rosalia8, El Ayoubi Salah10, Malavolti Sara4, Genovese Simona8, Somarakis Stelios5, Juretić Tea7, Tičina Vjekoslav7, Certain Gregoire1
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Avenue Jean Monnet, Sète, France
2 : Institute of Marine Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Mersin, Turkey
3 : Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de Baleares, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
4 : National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Biotechnologies, Largo Fiera della Pesca, Ancona, Italy
5 : Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Iraklion, Greece
6 : IPHC UMR 7178, University of Strasbourg, CNRS, DEPE, Strasbourg, France
7 : Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split, Croatia
8 : National Research Council (CNR), Institute for the Study of Anthropogenic Impacts and Sustainability in the Marine Environment, Torretta Granitola, Italy
9 : National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Marine Sciences, Napoli, Italy
10 : Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Balearic Islands Oceanographic Centre, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Source Mediterranean Marine Science (1791-6763) (National Documentation Centre (EKT)), 2021-12 , Vol. 22 , N. 4 , P. 800-811
DOI 10.12681/mms.26525
Keyword(s) Small pelagic fish, body size, Bergm

In this study we consider the applicability of Bergmann’s rule to the populations of small pelagic fish species in the Mediterranean Sea. Under Bergmann’s rule, body size increases with decreasing temperature and increasing latitude. Although this macroecological pattern in body sizes is well established for many taxa of endotherms and ectotherms, it does not remain universal, and the proposed mechanisms underlying it are multiple and still lack consensus. Here we explored the occurrence of geographical body size clines using measurements of average body sizes of 10 species collected in pelagic trawl hauls carried out during acoustic surveys in the Mediterranean Sea. Bergmann’s rule was evaluated by correlating body sizes with latitude and temperature for each species while accounting for potential confounding variables and sampling bias. For 5 species, namely anchovy, sardine, Atlantic chub mackerel, bogue and blue jack mackerel, we demonstrate that they follow Bergmann’s rule, with a decline in average body size by about 3.01, 3.43, 3.67, 3.82 and 3.76 % per 1°C of warming, respectively, although this did not translate with an increase in size with latitude. The adherence of these 5 pelagic fish to Bergmann’s rules strongly suggest that temperature is a major determinant of their body sizes and enables them to act as sentinel species for identifying the drivers and consequences of warming in the Mediterranean ecosystems.

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Hattab Tarek, Gucu Ali, Ventero Ana, de Felice Andrea, Machias Athanassios, Saraux Claire, Gašparević Denis, Basilone Gualtiero, Costantini Ilaria, Leonori Iole, Bourdeix Jean-Herve, Iglesias Magdalena, Barra Marco, Giannoulaki Marianna, Ferreri Rosalia, El Ayoubi Salah, Malavolti Sara, Genovese Simona, Somarakis Stelios, Juretić Tea, Tičina Vjekoslav, Certain Gregoire (2021). Temperature strongly correlates with regional patterns of body size variation in Mediterranean small pelagic fish species. Mediterranean Marine Science, 22(4), 800-811. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.12681/mms.26525 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00760/87248/