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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-65
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Jun 2018

Research article | 06 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Linking sardine recruitment in coastal areas to ocean currents using surface drifters and HF radar. A case study in the Gulf of Manfredonia, Adriatic Sea

Roberta Sciascia1, Maristella Berta1, Daniel F. Carlson1,6,7, Annalisa Griffa1, Monica Panfili1, Mario La Mesa1, Lorenzo Corgnati1, Carlo Mantovani1, Elisa Domenella1, Erick Fredj3, Marcello G. Magaldi1,2, Raffaele D'Adamo1, Gianfranco Pazienza1, Enrico Zambianchi4, and Pierre-Marie Poulain5 Roberta Sciascia et al.
  • 1Istituto Scienze Marine (ISMAR), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy
  • 2Johns Hopkins University, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 3Department of Computer Sciences, Jerusalem College of Technology, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 4DiST, Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope and CoNISMa, Napoli, Italy
  • 5Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Trieste, Italy
  • 6Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL, USA
  • 7Arctic Research Centre, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Abstract. Understanding the role of ocean currents in the recruitment of commercially and ecologically important fish is an important step toward developing sustainable resource management guidelines. To this end, we attempt to elucidate the role of surface ocean transport in supplying recruits of European sardine (Sardinus pilchardus) to the Gulf of Manfredonia, a known recruitment area in the Adriatic Sea. Sardine early life history stages (ELHS) were collected during two cruises to provide observational estimates of age-size relationship and of their passive pelagic larval duration (PPLD). We combine these PPLDs with observations of surface ocean currents to test two hypotheses: (1) ELHS are transported from remote spawning areas (SAs) by ocean currents to the Gulf of Manfredonia; (2) sardines spawn locally and ELHS are retained by eddies. A historical surface drifter database is used to test hypotheses 1. Hypothesis 2 is tested by estimating residence times of surface drifters and virtual particles trajectories that were computed from high resolution observations of surface currents measured by a High Frequency (HF) radar network. Transport to the Gulf of Manfredonia from remote SAs seems more likely than local spawning and retention given a mismatch between observed PPLDs of 30–50 days and relatively short (<10 days) average residence times. The number and strength of connections between the Gulf and remote SAs exhibit a strong dependence on PPLD. For PPLDs of 20 days or less, the Gulf is connected to SAs on the Western Adriatic coast through transport in the West Adriatic Current (WAC). SAs on the East coast were more important at longer PPLDs. SAs in the Northern and Central Adriatic exhibit weak connections at all PPLD ranges considered. These results agree with otolith microstructure analysis, suggesting that the arrival of larvae in the Gulf is characterized by repeated pulses from remote SAs. This is the first attempt to describe the processes related to Lagrangian connection to, and retention in, the Gulf of Manfredonia that will be complemented in the future using validated numerical ocean models and biophysical models.

Roberta Sciascia et al.
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Roberta Sciascia et al.
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Understanding the role of ocean currents in the recruitment of commercially important fish is an important step toward developing sustainable resource management guidelines. Here, we attempt to elucidate the role of surface ocean transport in supplying recruits of European sardine to the Gulf of Manfredonia, a known recruitment area in the Adriatic Sea. We find that transport to the Gulf of Manfredonia from remote spawing areas in the Adriatic is more likely than local spawning and retention.
Understanding the role of ocean currents in the recruitment of commercially important fish is an...
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