Journal Article

Does the North Atlantic current affect spatial distribution of whiting? Testing environmental hypotheses using statistical and GIS techniques

X. Zheng, G. J. Pierce, D. G. Reid and I. T. Jolliffe

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 59, issue 2, pages 239-253
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jmsc.2001.1131
Does the North Atlantic current affect spatial distribution of whiting? Testing environmental hypotheses using statistical and GIS techniques

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This paper describes spatial relationships between whiting, Merlangius merlangus (Linnaeus, 1758), abundance in the northern North Sea and contemporaneous measures of environmental conditions: sea surface temperature (SST), sea bottom temperature (SBT), and depth, with particular reference to the processes underlying patterns in SST. Generalised additive models (GAMs) were used to provide quantitative descriptions of the relationships between local abundance and environmental conditions. GIS (geographic information system) techniques were used to provide qualitative description of spatial patterns and to confirm the results revealed from GAMs.

GAMs fitted to both long-term averaged and individual years' data revealed marked seasonal changes in the spatial relationships between whiting abundance and environmental variables. The GAM results were supported by GIS analysis. In winter and spring (December–April) in the northern North Sea, the spatial pattern of SST apparently has an important influence on the spatial distribution of whiting at the same time. Where the water is relatively warm whiting abundance is relatively high, probably reflecting the indirect influence of North Atlantic waters entering the northern North Sea. However, there are no consistent optimum SST bands for whiting. These positive relationships between abundance and SST disappear in summer.

Keywords: depth; GAM; GIS; Northern Atlantic current; sea surface temperature; spatial patterns; whiting

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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