Skip to main content

Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea

  • Athanassios C. Tsikliras (a1), Emmanuil T. Koutrakis (a2), Georgios K. Sylaios (a3) and Argyris A. Kallianiotis (a2)

Larval fish and hydrographic data were collected in Kavala Gulf (northern Aegean Sea) across a fine scale grid of 17 stations in two surveys, carried out in the beginning of July 2002 and 2003. Despite the different taxonomic resolution and excluding the unidentified larvae, 22 taxa were caught in 2002 and 27 in 2003. Seventeen taxa were present in both years' collections. A total of 833 larvae were collected during the two samplings. The adults of several larvae caught, although sometimes at very low concentrations, are species with high commercial value or represent a major proportion of the captured production of the northern Aegean Sea. The larvae of European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) were most abundant in both years followed by the brown comber (Serranus hepatus), the gobies (Gobius sp.) and, only for 2003, round sardinella (Sardinella aurita). Maximum anchovy larval densities reached 4145/10 m2 and 13852/10 m2 in the 2002 and 2003 surveys, respectively. The spatial extent of anchovy larvae was also high as they were collected at 12 stations in 2002 and at 15 in 2003. Besides water circulation, the spatial distribution of fish larvae was largely influenced by temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: A.C. Tsikliras, Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, University of Thessaly, 384 46, Nea Ionia, Volos, Greece email:
Hide All
Agostini, V.N. and Bakun, A. (2002) ‘Ocean triads’ in the Mediterranean Sea: physical mechanisms potentially structuring reproductive habitat suitability (with example application to European anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus). Fisheries Oceanography 11, 129142.
Allain, G., Petitgas, P. and Lazure, P. (2007) The influence of environment and spawning distribution on the survival of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) larvae in the Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic) investigated by biophysical simulations. Fisheries Oceanography 16, 506514.
Azevedo, J.M.N. and Simas, A.M.V. (2000) Age and growth, reproduction and diet of sublittoral population of the rock goby Gobius paganellus (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Hydrobiologia 440, 129135.
Bailey, K.M. and Houde, E.D. (1989) Predation on eggs and larvae of marine fishes and the recruitment problem. Advances in Marine Biology 25, 183.
Bakun, A. (2006) Fronts and eddies as key structures in the habitat of marine fish larvae: opportunity, adaptive response and competitive advantage. Scientia Marina 70 (Supplement), 105122.
Bauchot, M.-L. (1987) Poissons osseux. In Fischer, W, Schneider, M. and Bauchot, M.-L. (eds) Fiches FAO d'identification des espèces pour les besoins de la pêche: Méditerranée et mer Noire. Zone de pêche 37. Volume II. Vertèbres. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, pp. 8611422.
Blaxter, J.H.S. (ed.) (1974) The early life history of fish. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Bottari, T., Giordano, D., Perdichizzi, F. and Rinelli, P. (2002) Preliminary observations on the biology of Scomber japonicus (Houttuyin, 1782) in two different areas of the Mediterranean Sea. Biologia Marina Mediterranea 9, 736739.
Bouain, A. (1981) Les serrans (Teleosteens, Serranides) des cotes sud de la Tunisie: taille de première maturité, période de reproduction. Cybium 3, 6575.
Caragitsou, E., Siapatis, A. and Anastasopoulou, A. (2001) Seasonal structure of fish larvae assemblages in the Pagasitikos Gulf (Greece). Rapport de la Commission Internationale pour l'Exploration Scientifique de la Mer Méditerranée 36, 250.
Claramunt, R.M. and Wahl, D.H. (2000) The effects of abiotic and biotic factors in determining larval fish growth rates: a comparison across species and reservoirs. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129, 835851.
Clarke, K.R. and Warwick, R.M. (1994) Change in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. Plymouth, UK: Natural Environment Research Council, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth.
Cowan, J.H. Jr., Houde, E.D. and Rose, K.A. (1996) Size-dependent vulnerability of marine fish larvae to predation: an individual-based numerical experiment. ICES Journal of Marine Science 53, 2337.
Cowan, J.H. Jr., Rose, K.A. and De Vries, D.R. (2000) Is density-dependent growth in young-of-the-year fishes a question of critical weight? Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 10, 6189.
Cuttitta, A., Carini, V., Patti, B., Bonanno, A., Basilone, G., Mazzola, S., García Lafuente, J., García, A., Buscaino, G., Aguzzi, L., Rollandi, L., Morizzo, G. and Cavalcante, C. (2003) Anchovy egg and larval distribution in relation to biological and physical oceanography in the Strait of Sicily. Hydrobiologia 503, 117120.
Froese, R. and Pauly, D. (eds) (2007) FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., accessed 24 June, 2007.
Garcia, A. and Palomera, I. (1996) Anchovy early life history and its relation to its surrounding environment in the Western Mediterranean basin. Scientia Marina 60 (Supplement 2), 155166.
Garrison, L.P., Michaels, W., Link, J.S. and Fogarty, M.J. (2002) Spatial distribution and overlap between ichthyoplankton and pelagic fish and squids on the southern flank of Georges Bank. Fisheries Oceanography 11, 267285.
Gell, F.R. and Roberts, C.M. (2003) Benefits beyond boundaries: the fishery effects of marine reserves. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18, 448455.
Gil, F., Borges, R., Faria, C. and Goncalves, E.J. (2002) Early development of the red mouthed goby, Gobius cruentatus (Pisces: Gobiidae). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 82, 161163.
Grubišić, F. (1962) On the spawning period of some fishes from the central part of the eastern Adriatic. Bilješke-Notes 18, 13.
Hodges, B. and Dallimore, C. (2001) Estuary and Lake Computer Model: ELCOM Science Manual Code Version 2.0.0. Centre for Water Research, University of Western Australia, Perth.
Iles, T.D. and Sinclair, M. (1982) Atlantic herring: stock discreteness and abundance. Science 215, 627632.
Kourafalou, V. and Tsiaras, K. (2007) A nested circulation model for the North Aegean Sea. Ocean Science 3, 116.
Koutrakis, E.T., Kallianiotis, A.A. and Tsikliras, A.C. (2004) Temporal patterns of larval fish distribution and abundance in a coastal area of northern Greece. Scientia Marina 68, 585595.
Krebs, C.J. (1994) Ecology: the experimental analysis of distribution and abundance. New York: Harper and Row Publishers.
Le Fevre, J. (1986) Aspects of the biology of frontal systems. Advances in Marine Biology 23, 164299.
Mann, K.H. and Lazier, J.R.N. (1996) Dynamics of marine ecosystems: biological–physical interactions in the oceans. Boston: Blackwell Science.
Mazzoldi, C. and Rasotto, M.B. (2002) Alternative male mating tactics in Gobius niger. Journal of Fish Biology 61, 157172.
Nannini, N., Sbrana, M. and De Ranieri, S. (1997) Biological aspects of Trachurus trachurus (Linnaeus, 1758) and Trachurus mediterraneus (Steindachner, 1868) in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea. Biologia Marina Mediterranea 4, 561563.
Nonaka, R.H., Matsuura, Y. and Suzuki, K. (2000) Seasonal variation in larval fish assemblages in relation to oceanographic conditions in the Abrolhos Bank region off eastern Brazil. Fishery Bulletin 98, 767784.
Olivar, M.P. and Sabatés, A. (1997) Vertical distribution of fish larvae in the north-west Mediterranean Sea in spring. Marine Biology 129, 289300.
Page, F.H., Sinclair, M., Naimie, C.E., Loder, J.W., Losier, R.J., Berrien, P.L. and Lough, R.G. (1999) Cod and haddock spawning on Georges Bank in relation to water residence times. Fisheries Oceanography 8, 212226.
Palomera, I. (1992) Spawning of anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus in the northwestern Mediterranean relative to hydrographic features in the region. Marine Ecology Progress Series 79, 215233.
Palomera, I. and Sabatés, A. (1990) Co-occurrence of Engraulis encrasicolus and Sardinella aurita eggs and larvae in the northwestern Mediterranean. Scientia Marina 54, 6167.
Palomera, I. and Olivar, M.P. (1996) Nearshore ichthyoplankton off the Costa Brava (northwest Mediterranean Sea). Publication Especiales Instituto Espanol Oceanographia 22, 7175.
Papaconstantinou, C., Petrakis, G. and Vassilopoulou, V. (1986) The fecundity of hake (Merluccius merluccius L.) and red pandora (Pagellus erythrinus L.) in Greek seas. Acta Adriatica 27, 8595.
Parsons, T.R., Takahashi, M. and Hargrave, B. (1996) Biological oceanographic processes. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Poulos, S.E., Drakopoulos, P.G. and Collins, M.B. (1997) Seasonal variability of the sea surface oceanographic conditions in the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean): an overview. Journal of Marine Systems 13, 225244.
Regner, S. (1981) Larval stages of the deep-sea fishes in the channel area of the central Adriatic. Bilješke-Notes 41, 18.
Sabatés, A. (1990) Distribution pattern of larval fish populations in the northwestern Mediterranean. Marine Ecology Progress Series 59, 7582.
Sabatés, A. (2004) Diel vertical distribution of fish larvae during the winter-mixing period in the northwestern Mediterranean. ICES Journal of Marine Science 61, 12431252.
Sabatés, A. and Olivar, M.P. (1996) Variation of larval fish distributions associated with variability in the location of a shelf-slope front. Marine Ecology Progress Series 135, 1120.
Sanchez-Velasco, L., Jimenez-Rosenberg, S.P.A., Shirasago, B. and Obeso-Nieblas, M. (2004) Distribution and abundance of fish larvae in Bahia de la Paz (Gulf of California) and their relation to hydrographic variability during summer (1997–1998). Deep-Sea Research II 51, 723737.
Somarakis, S., Drakopoulos, P. and Filippou, V. (2002) Distribution and abundance of larval fish in the northern Aegean Sea—eastern Mediterranean—in relation to early summer oceanographic conditions. Journal of Plankton Research 24, 339357.
Sorra, V., Koutsikopoulos, C., Fragopoulou, N. and Lykakis, I. (2000) Distribution of fish larvae in Patraikos Gulf and Gulf of Nafpaktos. Proceedings of the 9th Hellenic Ichthyological Conference, Mesolongi, Greece, pp. 8185.
Stergiou, K.I., Christou, E.D., Georgopoulos, D., Zenetos, A. and Souvermezoglou, C. (1997) The Hellenic Seas: physics, chemistry, biology and fisheries. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review 35, 415538.
Sylaios, G., Stamatis, N., Kallianiotis, A. and Vidoris, P. (2005a) Monitoring water quality and assessment of land-based nutrient loadings and cycling in Kavala Gulf. Water Resources Management 19, 713735.
Sylaios, G., Kallianiotis, A. and Koutrakis, E.T. (2005b) Anchovy larvae distribution in the North Aegean Sea in relation to the prevailing oceanographic conditions. Proceedings of the 12th Hellenic Ichthyological Conference, Drama, Greece, pp. 136139.
Sylaios, G.K., Koutrakis, E.T. and Kallianiotis, A.A. (2006) Hydrographic variability, nutrient distribution and water mass dynamics in Strymonikos Gulf (Northern Greece). Continental Shelf Research 26, 217235.
ter Braak, C.J.F. (1986) Canonical correspondence analysis: a new eigenvector technique for multivariate direct gradient analysis. Ecology 67, 11671179.
Tsikliras, A.C. (2004a) Biology and population dynamics of round sardinella (Sardinella aurita Valenciennes, 1847) in Kavala Gulf (northern Aegean Sea, Greece). PhD thesis. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Tsikliras, A.C. (2004b) Spawning pattern of round sardinella, Sardinella aurita Valenciennes, 1847, in relation to sea surface temperature (northern Aegean Sea, Greece). Rapport de la Commission Internationale pour l'Exploration Scientifique de la Mer Méditerranée 37, 449.
Tsikliras, A.C. (2007) Thermal threshold of the onset of maturation in clupeid fishes using quotient analysis. Rapport de la Commission Internationale pour l'Exploration Scientifique de la Mer Méditerranée 38, 623.
Tsikliras, A.C. and Antonopoulou, E. (2006) Reproductive biology of round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) in the north-eastern Mediterranean. Scientia Marina 70, 281290.
Tsikliras, A.C. and Stergiou, K.I. (2007a) Fisheries management and marine protected areas. In Papaconstantinou, C., Zenetos, A., Vassilopoulou, V. and Tserpes, G. (eds) State of Hellenic fisheries. Athens: Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, pp. 306314.
Tsikliras, A.C. and Stergiou, K.I. (2007b) Demersal–pelagic ratio in Greek fish landings (1964–2003). Rapport de la Commission Internationale pour l'Exploration Scientifique de la Mer Méditerranée 38, 622.
Tsikliras, A.C., Antonopoulou, E. and Stergiou, K.I. (2005) Reproduction of Mediterranean fishes. In Stergiou, K.I. and Bobori, D.C. (eds) Fish and more: 3rd Mini FishBase Symposium. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, pp. 3740.
Wague, A. (1997) Biology, ecology and dynamics of Serranus hepatus (L., 1758) (Pisces, Serranidae) in Thermaikos Gulf (Aegean Sea, Greece). PhD thesis. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed