PUMA
Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Tugores M., Giannoulaki M., Iglesias M., Bonanno A., Ticina V., Leonori I., Machias A., Tsagarakis K., Díaz N., Giráldez A., Patti B., De Felice A., Basilone G., Valavanis V. Habitat suitability modelling for sardine Sardina pilchardus in a highly diverse ecosystem: the Mediterranean Sea. In: Marine Ecology-Progress Series, vol. 443 pp. 181 - 205. Inter-Research, 2011.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
Integrated information from different parts of the Mediterranean Sea was used to model the spatial and temporal variability of the distribution grounds of the sardine population. Acoustic data from the North Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean), the Adriatic Sea (Central Mediterranean), the Sicily Channel (Central Mediterranean) and Spanish Mediterranean waters (Western Mediterranean) were analysed along with satellite environmental and bathymetric data to model the potential habitat of sardine during summer, autumn and early winter. Generalized additive models were applied in a presence−absence approach. Models were validated in terms of their predictive ability and used to construct maps exhibiting the probability of sardine presence throughout the entire Mediterranean basin as a measure of habitat adequacy for sardine. Bottom depth and sea surface temperature were the environmental variables that explained most of the data variability. Several areas along the Mediterranean coastline were indicated as suitable habitat for sardine in different seasons. An expansion of these areas over the continental shelf, up to 100 m depth, was consistently noticed from summer to winter. This was attributed to the horizontal movements of sardine related to spawning (i.e. winter period) and the peculiarities of the Mediterranean Sea where areas favouring growth, feeding and spawning processes tend to be localised and prevent a long range, offshore migration as opposed to large upwelling ecosystems. Moreover, within the study period, a positive relationship between the extent of sardine preferred habitat and landings was revealed for both summer and winter seasons throughout the entire Mediterranean Sea.
DOI: 10.3354/meps09366
Subject sardine
habitat suitability modelling
sardine potential habitat
potential spawning habitat
Mediterranean Sea
small pelagic


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