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Effects of environmental variability on abundance of commercial marine species in the northern Gulf of California

T. Mónica Ruiz-Barreiro, Francisco Arreguín-Sánchez, Arturo González-Baheza, Juan C. Hernández-Padilla

Studies have shown that environmental variables significantly affect variation in stock abundance of marine populations. The northern Gulf of California (NGC) is a highly productive region of interest due to its fish resources and diversity. Conservation of the marine species inhabiting the region is of public interest. Our study analysed the influence of physical environmental factors on several commercial marine species, using catch per unit effort (CPUE) as a proxy for abundance. Generalized additive models were used to test the significance of selected environmental variables on stock abundance. Deseasonalized cross-correlation analysis was used to examine time-lagged correlations between CPUE and abiotic variables to identify response timings. The results suggest that for most commercial species the sea surface temperature and the long-term climate Pacific Decadal Oscillation index are the predominant predictors for species abundance, followed by the Colorado River discharge. The Multivariate ENSO Index and the Pacific-North American pattern indices also showed specific effects on certain species. The NGC is a highly dynamic region, where species respond to environmental changes according to the characteristics of their life histories.

Keywords: physical environmental variables; abundance of commercial marine species; northern Gulf of California; Colorado River discharge; sea surface temperature
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 83(3) : 195-205 Back PDF
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