Environmental determinants of abundance and distribution of the European common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis: A case study in the Eastern English Channel.

The abundance and distribution of Sepia officinalis were described in the Eastern English Channel from 1998 until 2012. Generalized additive models were applied to data on Presence/Absence, Presence, and Averaged abundance. The presence model proved to be more useful in addressing the study’s objectives. Upon modelling, spatial and temporal variation together explained 42% of the deviance in cuttlefish presence. Separate models of spatial and temporal variation explained 36% and 6% of deviance respectively, emphasising the importance of the spatial component of variation. S.officinalis was patchily distributed with peaks generally occurring in ICES rectangles: 29F0, 27E9, and 30E9. Environmental variables explained a proportion of the spatio-temporal variation. Variables such as sea surface temperature, chlorophyll a, depth, and sediment type combined together explained 22% of deviance. Despite some concerns regarding the use of averaged abundance to detect the environmental variables dictating the spatial and temporal variation separately, the negative association with Mud to sandy mud proved to be the most important factor responsible for the spatial variation and sea surface temperature proved to be the main factor responsible for the temporal variation. Some implications are discussed along with further recommendations for future studies.

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0521 - Ecology", "0511 - Biology", "0588 - Scientific modelling