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Research article2007Peer reviewed

Distribution and quality of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) nursery grounds on the Swedish west coast

Wennhage, Håkan; Pihl, Leif; Stål, Johan


Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) has spatially restricted nursery grounds located in shallow soft bottom areas, where the nursery areas only make up a small fraction of the species distribution range. The importance of different coastal areas for recruitment is expected to depend on the quality and size of the nursery grounds. This paper describes the geographical extension of plaice nursery grounds at a regional level along the Swedish west coast. Densities of juvenile plaice were used as the response variable of habitat quality and were compiled based on records from autumn sampling in the various regions. Different aspects of nursery ground quality were related to the density of 0-group plaice, to evaluate the contribution of different factors to the geographical pattern observed. Larval supply was found to be the most important component of nursery quality showing a close relationship with the density of juvenile plaice on a regional scale. The relative contribution of plaice recruits from Swedish nursery grounds to the Skagerrak/Kattegat stock was evaluated using historical data. Swedish nursery grounds were estimated to contribute 77% of the recruits to the adult stock in the area. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


flatfish; juvenile habitat; recruitment; Skagerrak; Kattegat; North Sea

Published in

Journal of Sea Research
2007, Volume: 57, number: 2-3, pages: 218-229

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