Linking growth to environmental histories in central Baltic young-of-the-year sprat, Sprattus sprattus : an approach based on otolith microstructure analysis and hydrodynamic modelling

H. Baumann, H.H. Hinrichsen, R. Voss, D. Stepputtis, W. Grygiel, Lotte Worsøe Clausen, A. Temming

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Otolith microstructure analysis and hydrodynamic modelling were combined to study growth patterns in young-of-the-year (YoY) sprat, Sprattus sprattus, which were sampled in October 2002 in the central Baltic Sea. The observed 'window of survival', approximated by the distribution of back-calculated days of first feeding (DFF), was narrow compared to the extended spawning season of sprat in the Baltic Sea (mean +/- SD = 22 June +/- 14.1 days) and indicated that only individuals born in summer survived until October 2002. Within the group of survivors, individuals born later in the season exhibited faster larval, but more rapidly decreasing juvenile growth rates than earlier born conspecifics. Back-calculated larval growth rates of survivors (0.48-0.69 mm day(-1)) were notably higher than those previously reported for average larval sprat populations, suggesting that the YoY population was predominantly comprised of individuals which grew faster during the larval stage. Daily mean temperatures, experienced across the entire YoY population, were derived from Lagrangian particle simulations and correlated with (1) detrended otolith growth and (2) back-calculated, daily somatic growth rates of survivors. The results showed that abrupt changes in ambient temperature can be detected in the seasonal pattern of otolith growth, and that higher temperatures led to significantly faster growth throughout the entire age range of YoY sprat
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Oceanography
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)465-476
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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