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A biophysical model of S. aurita early life history in the northern Gulf of Guinea

TitleA biophysical model of S. aurita early life history in the northern Gulf of Guinea
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKoné, V, Lett, C, Penven, P, Bourlès, B, Djakouré, S
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Volume151
Pagination83–96
ISSN0079-6611
KeywordsHydrodynamic model, Individual-based model, Northern Gulf of Guinea, Recruitment, S. aurita early life stage, upwelling
Abstract

S. aurita is the most abundant small pelagic fish in the northern Gulf of Guinea. Its reproduction and recruitment depend crucially on environmental conditions. We developed a biophysical model of S. aurita early life history by coupling offline an individual-based model with the regional oceanic modeling system (ROMS). We used this model to investigate the main factors driving variability in eggs and larval dispersal and survival in the northern Gulf of Guinea. Precisely, individuals were released from different spawning areas along the coast and tracked for a period of 28 days corresponding to their planktonic phase. Individuals that remained in the coastal recruitment areas at an age more than 7 days, at which they can supposedly actively retain themselves in a favorable area, were considered as recruited. Simulation results show the importance of the spawning areas around Cape Palmas and Cape Three Points where cyclonic eddies trap eggs and larvae along the coast, preventing their advection offshore by the Guinea Current. The spawning period also plays a key role in the recruitment success, with highest coastal retention obtained during the major upwelling period (July–September). We find that a second retention peak can occur during the minor upwelling period (February–March) when larval mortality due to temperature is included in the model. These results are in general agreement with knowledge of S. aurita reproduction in the northern Gulf of Guinea.

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079661116300477
DOI10.1016/j.pocean.2016.10.008