Scientia Marina, Vol 63, No 2 (1999)

Dispersal strategies of benthic species and water current variability in the Corsica Channel (Western Mediterranean)

Stefano Aliani
Institute for Physical Oceanography CNR, Italy

Roberto Meloni
Institute for Physical Oceanography CNR, Italy


Four seasonal surveys were carried out in the Gulf of Tunis between summer 2002 and spring 2003 to study the abundance and distribution of Sardina pilchardus eggs and larvae in relation to environmental parameters. In the Gulf of Tunis, Sardina pilchardus begins spawning in autumn (23 eggs/10 m²) and attains its peak in winter (257 eggs/10 m²) when the mean SST is lowest (13.4°C). Sardine reproduction seems to be triggered by the decrease in the SST. In winter, the main spawning areas were located to the south of Zembra Island and the north of Cape Bon. Larvae were more abundant in winter (38 larvae/10 m²), while lower densities were collected in autumn and spring (1 larva/10 m²). The highest abundance of larvae (288 larvae/10 m²) was recorded southwest of Zembra Island. Eggs and larvae were mainly concentrated in the relatively warmer and saltier waters with high zooplankton abundance and, inversely, with a low concentration of nitrate and chlorophyll a and a low diatom abundance.


dispersal strategies; physical-biological coupling; Corsica Channel; Western Mediterranean; current variability

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Copyright (c) 1999 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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