We have calculated a time series of larval transport indices for the central and southern North Sea covering 1970-2004, using a combined three-dimensional hydrodynamic and individual-based modelling framework for studying sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) eggs, larval transport, and growth. The egg phase is modelled by a stochastic, nonlinear degree-day model describing the extended hatch period. The larval growth model is parameterized by individually back-tracking the local physical environment of larval survivors from their catch location and catch time. Using a detailed map of sandeel habitats in the North Sea, the importance of hydrography for early life stages of sandeel to their recruitment success is explored. We find that the sandeel larval transport patterns in the North Sea are relatively robust toward uncertainties in biological parameters, when mortality aspects are included. We find only weak spatiotemporal correlations between elements of the transport indices in the time series, mainly positive correlation between retention terms for the same year. The transport connectivity of sandeel habitats in the North Sea and the dynamical properties of the North Sea transport system are also analyzed, and we introduce novel a scheme to quantify direct and indirect connectivity on equal footings in terms of an interbank transit time scale.
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|