Factors Regulating Early Life History Dispersal of Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) from Coastal Newfoundland

Stanley, Ryan and de Young, Brad and Snelgrove, Paul and Gregory, Robert S. (2013) Factors Regulating Early Life History Dispersal of Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) from Coastal Newfoundland. PLoS ONE, 8 (9). ISSN 1932-6203

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To understand coastal dispersal dynamics of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), we examined spatiotemporal egg and larval abundance patterns in coastal Newfoundland. In recent decades, Smith Sound, Trinity Bay has supported the largest known overwintering spawning aggregation of Atlantic cod in the region. We estimated spawning and dispersal characteristics for the Smith Sound-Trinity Bay system by fitting ichthyoplankton abundance data to environmentally-driven, simplified box models. Results show protracted spawning, with sharply increased egg production in early July, and limited dispersal from the Sound. The model for the entire spawning season indicates egg export from Smith Sound is 13%•day−1 with a net mortality of 27%•day–1. Eggs and larvae are consistently found in western Trinity Bay with little advection from the system. These patterns mirror particle tracking models that suggest residence times of 10–20 days, and circulation models indicating local gyres in Trinity Bay that act in concert with upwelling dynamics to retain eggs and larvae. Our results are among the first quantitative dispersal estimates from Smith Sound, linking this spawning stock to the adjacent coastal waters. These results illustrate the biophysical interplay regulating dispersal and connectivity originating from inshore spawning of coastal northwest Atlantic.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6298
Item ID: 6298
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 13 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
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