Does the North Atlantic current affect spatial distribution of whiting? Testing environmental hypotheses using statistical and GIS techniques

Xiaohong Zheng, Graham John Pierce, D. G. Reid, I. T. Jolliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes spatial relationships between whiting, Merlangins merlanglis (Linnaeus, 1758), abundance in the northern North Sea and contemporaneous measures of environmental conditions: sea surface temperature (SST), sea bottom temperature (SBT), and depth, with particular reference to the processes underlying patterns in SST. Generalised additive models (GAMs) were used to provide quantitative descriptions of the relationships between local abundance and environmental conditions. GIS (geographic information system) techniques were used to provide qualitative description of spatial patterns and to confirm the results revealed from GAMs.

GAMs fitted to both long-term averaged and individual years' data revealed marked seasonal changes in the spatial relationships between whiting abundance and environmental variables. The GAM results were supported by GIS analysis. In winter and spring (December-April) in the northern North Sea, the spatial pattern of SST apparently has an important influence on the spatial distribution of whiting at the same time. Where the water is relatively warm whiting abundance is relatively high, probably reflecting the indirect influence of North Atlantic waters entering the northern North Sea. However, there are no consistent optimum SST bands for whiting. These positive relationships between abundance and SST disappear in summer. (C) 2002 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-253
Number of pages14
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume59
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • depth
  • GAM
  • GIS
  • northern Atlantic current
  • sea surface temperature
  • spatial patterns
  • whiting
  • GENERALIZED ADDITIVE-MODELS
  • COD GADUS-MORHUA
  • ARCTIC COD
  • EARLY-LIFE
  • SEA
  • ABUNDANCE
  • TEMPERATURE
  • GROWTH
  • FLUCTUATIONS
  • RECRUITMENT

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