Interannual variation in the coastal distribution of a juvenile gadid in the northeast Pacific Ocean: The relevance of wind and effect on recruitment
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Interannual variation in the coastal distribution of a juvenile gadid in the northeast Pacific Ocean: The relevance of wind and effect on recruitment

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  • Journal Title:
    Fisheries Oceanography
  • Description:
    Drift of propagules occurs within many populations inhabiting flow fields. This affects the number of propagules that rejoin their source population (recruitment) and plays a role in adaptive spatial redistribution. We focus on the cause and consequence of interannual variation in geographic distribution of population density among five cohorts of young‐of‐the‐year (age‐0) juvenile walleye pollock Gadus chalcogrammus in the western Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The coastal GOA is a wind‐driven advective system. Walleye pollock spawn during spring and their eggs and larvae drift southwestward; by late summer, age‐0 juveniles are variously distributed over the shelf. We found that high population densities of age‐0 juveniles (ca. 6 months old) near the southwestward exit of the Alaska Coastal Current from the GOA corresponded with high abundance of larvae from the major spawning area upstream, but did not translate into high abundance at older ages. Further, offshore and upwelling‐favorable winds were associated with the high downstream abundance and presumed export. In contrast, downwelling‐favorable (northeasterly) wind during and shortly after spawning (April–May) was associated with high recruitment at age 1. Finally, we found that recruitment also increased with apparent retention of age‐0 juveniles in favorable habitat upstream near the main spawning area. We hypothesize that wind‐related retention in superior upstream habitat favors recruitment. Our results argue for including wind‐driven transport in future walleye pollock recruitment models. We encourage more work on the juvenile stage of marine fishes aimed at understanding how transport and species‐specific habitat suitability interact to affect population response to large‐scale forcing.
  • Source:
    Fisheries Oceanography. 2021;30:3–22.
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  • Rights Information:
    Public Domain
  • Compliance:
    Submitted
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