Ocean Productivity May Predict Recruitment of the Rainbow Wrasse (Coris julis)

TitleOcean Productivity May Predict Recruitment of the Rainbow Wrasse (Coris julis)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsFontes J, Semmens B, Caselle JE, Santos RS, Prakya SR
Date Published11

Predicting recruitment fluctuations of fish populations remains the Holy Grail of fisheries science. While previous work has linked recruitment of reef fish to environmental variables including temperature, the demonstration of a robust relationship with productivity remains elusive. Despite decades of research, empirical evidence to support this critical link remains limited. Here we identify a consistent and strong relationship between recruitment of a temperate wrasse Coris julis, from temperate reefs in the mid-Atlantic region, with Chlorophyll, over contrasting scales, across multiple years. Additionally, we find that the correlation between Chlorophyll and recruitment is not simply masking a temperature-recruitment relationship. Understanding the potential mechanisms underlying recruitment variability, particularly as it relates to changing climate and ocean regimes, is a critical first step towards characterizing species’ vulnerability to mismatches between pulsed planktonic production and early pelagic life stages.

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