Coombs, S.H., Halliday, N.C., Southward, A.J. and Hawkins, S.J.
Distribution and abundance of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) eggs in the English Channel from Continuous Plankton Recorder sampling, 1958–1980
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 85, (5), . (doi:10.1017/S0025315405012385).
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Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) samples from the English Channel and adjacent Celtic shelf, taken over the period 1958–1980, were analysed for sardine (Sardina pilchardus) eggs. Results showed the progression of sardine spawning along the English Channel from west to east from March to August and a return from east to west from September to November. This corresponds with the two seasonal peaks of sardine egg abundance in the western Channel: the main summer peak being in May/June, with a smaller autumn peak in October/November. Long-term changes in sardine egg abundance in CPR samples showed a decline in summer spawning from the late 1960s, but no clear trend in autumn-spawned egg abundance. Similar patterns were observed in the numbers of sardine eggs sampled by conventional plankton net tows at the time-series Station L5 off Plymouth. This supports the use of the longer time-series of sardine egg data at L5 as being representative of a wider area and emphasizes the importance in continuation of the L5 time-series.
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