Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 4 (2006)

Modelling the effect of temperature on hatching and settlement patterns of meroplanktonic organisms: the case of octopus

Stelios Katsanevakis
University of Athens, Faculty of Biology, Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, Atenas, Greece

George Verriopoulos
University of Athens, Faculty of Biology, Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, Atenas, Greece


The duration of embryonic development and the planktonic stage of meroplanktonic species is highly temperature dependent and thus the seasonal temperature oscillations of temperate regions greatly affect the patterns of hatching and benthic settlement. Based on data from the literature on embryonic development and planktonic duration of Octopus vulgaris (common octopus) in relation to temperature, and on observed temperature patterns, several models of hatching and settlement patterns were created. There was a good fit between observed settlement patterns and model predictions. Based on these models we concluded that in temperate regions: (1) when temperature is increasing (from early spring to mid summer) the hatching and settlement periods tend to shorten, while when the temperature is decreasing (during autumn) the hatching and settlement periods tend to lengthen; (2) hatching and settlement peaks are narrower and more intense than a spring spawning peak but wider and less intense than an autumn spawning peak; (3) at lower latitudes, hatching and settlement patterns tend to follow the spawning pattern more closely, (4) the periodic temperature pattern of temperate areas has the potential to cause a convergence of hatching during spring.


cephalopod; hatching pattern; Octopus vulgaris; recruitment; settlement; spawning; temperature

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