Distribution of the northern stock (34° S-41° S) of hake (Merluccius hubbsi Marini, 1933) in relation to environmental parameters during late winter (2000-2008)
Keywords:Merluccius hubbsi, geographic distribution, temperature fields, salinity gradient, Southwest Atlantic
Abundance fluctuation per size range in hake distribution and its relation to bottom temperature and salinity variation during August-October 2000-2008 was analyzed. Interannual variation showed positive temperature anomalies in 2004 and 2005 and negative ones in 2003 and 2007. It was not significant in salinity. No clear relation was found between oceanographic parameters and recruitment; nevertheless, the analysis of hierarchic grouping per size allowed to establish four groups whose spatial distribution could be associated to different oceanographic conditions. Individuals below 18 cm and between 18 and 30 cm length showed the highest abundance between 35° S-37° S, at 80-130 m depth, 8 °C-10 °C temperature and 33.5-34.0 salinity. The area presents a large spatial variation in temperature and strong sea bottom thermohaline ranges. These size groups showed another focus of lower density around 40° S. Individuals between 31-40 cm were found in the whole study area and specimens above 40 cm south of 38° S at higher depths, close to the 80-200 shelf-break where thermohaline ranges averaged 6 °C-8 °C and 33.75-34.00.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Elena Louge, Graciela Molinari, Roberto Castrucci
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