Scientia Marina, Vol 83, No S1 (2019)

The MEDITS maturity scales as a useful tool for investigating the reproductive traits of key species in the Mediterranean Sea


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.04965.15A

Maria Cristina Follesa
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8320-9974

Blondine Agus
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1180-2362

Andrea Bellodi
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9017-1692

Rita Cannas
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6627-4053

Francesca Capezzuto
Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1498-0228

Loredana Casciaro
COISPA Tecnologia & Ricerca, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4876-9874

Alessandro Cau
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4082-7531

Danila Cuccu
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5638-8209

Marilena Donnaloia
COISPA Tecnologia & Ricerca, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6707-0503

Ulla Fernandez-Arcaya
Instituto Español de Oceanografia, Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears, Spain
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5588-3520

Vita Gancitano
National Research Council, Institute for Coastal Marine Environment, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9623-6621

Palma Gaudio
COISPA Tecnologia & Ricerca, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8501-1168

Martina Francesca Marongiu
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0582-8865

Antonello Mulas
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1635-691X

Paola Pesci
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9066-8076

Cristina Porcu
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2649-6502

Ilaria Rossetti
APLYSIA Soc. Coop. r.l., Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3260-8769

Letizia Sion
Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0308-1841

Maria Vallisneri
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BIGEA), University of Bologna, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6323-4328

Pierluigi Carbonara
COISPA Tecnologia & Ricerca, Italy
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2529-2535

Abstract


Maturity is one of the most important biological parameters used in stock assessment programmes. Indeed, the macroscopic stage of gonadal development is an essential feature in estimating the maturity ogive and spawning stock biomass. It is also useful for determining the spawning season of a species and for monitoring long-term changes in the spawning cycle as well as for many other research needs related to the biology of fish. Despite the efforts made during the last few decades to standardize maturity stage data among all the researchers, marine biologists continue without a manageable and unique maturity scale to describe the reproductive development of fish gonads. For these reasons, the objectives of this article are 1) to investigate the biological parameters of five selected key species (Mullus barbatus, Galeus melastomus, Etmopterus spinax, Aristeus antennatus, Loligo vulgaris) with different reproductive strategies following the macroscopic maturity scales based on the same univocal criteria adopted in the MEDITS programme and described in this work; and 2) to compare them among some Mediterranean geographical sub-areas (GSAs) involved in the programme. Neither spawning periods nor size at first maturity (SFM50) for the studied species showed particular differences in the investigated GSAs.

Keywords


MEDITS maturity scales; reproduction; fish; cephalopods; crustaceans; Mediterranean Sea

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