Publication details.


Author(s):L. Diaz-Barroso, I. Hernandez-Carrasco, A. Orfila, P. Reglero, R. Balbín, M. Hidalgo, J. Tintore, F. Alemany, D. Alvarez-Berastegui
Title:Singularities of surface mixing activity in the Western Mediterranean influence bluefin tuna larval habitats
Abstract:© 2022 Inter-Research. All rights reserved.Understanding how the surface dynamics of the ocean influence the spawning and larval ecology of many large pelagic species, in particular tuna species, is a major challenge. For temperate tunas, the selection of geographically restricted spawning grounds is influenced by environmental conditions, but the influence of surface mixing properties on the early life stages of these species remains poorly understood. Here, based on ichthyoplankton samples collected over 4 yr and satellite-derived finite size Lyapunov exponents (FSLEs), we examined how horizontal mixing activity drives the probability of presence of Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus larvae. We further analyzed the spatial and temporal scales of the FSLE variability at which the relationship between larval presence and mesoscale activity is maximized. We found that moderate mixing activity strongly favors the spatial-temporal distribution of larval habitats, evidencing an optimal environmental window of bluefin tuna spawning and early life development within the meso scale dynamics. During the spawning season, the Balearic Sea presents a unique spatial and temporal hydrodynamic scenario within the Western Mediterranean. These results can be used for developing oceanographic indicators and improving larval abundance indices that are currently used in Atlantic bluefin tuna stock assessments.

Related staff

  • Joaquin Tintoré Subirana
  • Alejandro Orfila Förster
  • Ismael Hernandez Carrasco
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Marine Technologies, Operational and Coastal Oceanography