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Spatial and temporal patterns in the Mediterranean populations of Aristaeomorpha foliacea and Aristeus antennatus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Aristeidae) based on the MEDITS surveys
Beatriz Guijarro, Isabella Bitetto, Gianfranco D’Onghia, Maria Cristina Follesa, Kostas Kapiris, Alessandro Mannini, Olivera Marković, Reno Micallef, Sergio Ragonese, Kostas Skarvelis, Angelo Cau

The aristeids Aristaeomorpha foliacea and Aristeus antennatus are two species of great economic importance in the Mediterranean Sea, where they are exploited almost exclusively by bottom trawlers. We analysed their geographical and inter-annual patterns using data collected, following a standardized protocol, during the MEDITS international experimental bottom trawl surveys. The data used consisted of standardized abundance and biomass indices, size structure and individual biological information collected in the northern Mediterranean for more than two decades. Several univariate and multivariate methodologies were used to analyse the data. The current study confirms previous findings, such as the longitudinal gradient in the relative presence of the aristeids, but also offers additional information for a better understanding of the intrinsic variability of the data over the years and between areas. Moreover, geographical variability in the somatic condition index is discussed, taking into account the role of environmental conditions and fishing pressure. The large geographical variability found for both species in this regional approach reflects the importance of additional studies at a small-scale geographical level. Such studies could be particularly important for managing and ensuring the stability of these species, for which large regional approaches may be inadequate.

Keywords: Aristaeomorpha foliacea; Aristeus antennatus; geographical patterns; trawl surveys; abundance; length structure; condition factor; Mediterranean Sea
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 83S1 : 57-70 Back PDF
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