Relationships between daily growth of different groups of swordtip squid (Uroteuthis edulis) and environmental variables in the East China Sea
Abstract: Swordtip squid (Uroteuthis edulis) is one of the important economical fishing target species in the East China Sea. U. edulis is characterized by rapid growth, extensive migration, and long spawning period and sensitive to surrounding environment. In order to assess its stock status, it is necessary to explore its spawning season, growth patterns of different populations and their relationship with the environment in advance. In this paper, based on the samples of U. edulis collected in the East China Sea from September 2017 to March 2018, we explored the relationships between daily growth of statolith microstructure and environmental variables by Gradient forest method (GFM) and generalized additive model (GAM). The spawning season of U. edulis was found to be nearly one year and two dominant season groups were found: the spring group with the peak period of April and the summer group with the peak period of August. Water temperature in the depth of 25 m (Temp_25), sea surface temperature (SST) and zonal velocity (ZV) were the key environmental variables for the daily growth of April-spawning group. The most suitable environmental conditions for the growth of April-spawning group were water temperature (24-27°C) and velocity (0.1-0.3 m/s). SST, Temp_25 and mixed layer depth (MLD) were the key environment variables for the daily growth of August-spawning group. The most suitable environmental conditions for the growth of August-spawning group were water temperature (21-28°C) and water depth (0-50 m). Key environmental variables of different groups suggested that early growth was significantly affected by seasonal changes of water temperature, current velocity and prey abundance. This study explored the relationships between early growth and environmental variables and provided the scientific guidance for the management and conservation of U. edulis.
Figure 2. Polished statolith of U. edulis aged 200 days. All increments were counted and measured along the same axis from core to dorsal. Fig. 2a: Growth increments within nuclear zone; Fig. 2b: Growth increments within lateral dome; Fig. 2c: Growth increments within dorsal dome; 2d: Polished statolith
Table 1. Sampling information of U. edulis from the East China Sea.
Sampling months Locations Numbers Mantle length ranges/(mm) Age ranges/(d) Sex ratios
September 2017 30°30' N
15 69-198 176-224 1.4:1 November 2017 31° N
19 110-234 175-273 0.9:1 December 2017 31°30' N
23 86-223 153-254 1.2:1 January
31°30' N 127° E 24 93-180 175-228 1:1 February 2018 28°30' N 123° E 17 87-158 176-233 2:1 March
23 92-154 169-215 0.7:1
Table 2. Descriptions of environmental variables.
Environmental variables Descriptions SST Sea surface temperature Temp_25 Water temperature at the depth of 25 m MLD Mixed layer depth SSH Sea surface height SSS Sea surface salinity Chl-a Chlorophyll-a concentration ZV Zonal current velocity VV Vertical current velocity
Table 3. Key environment variables of April- and August-spawning groups identified based on the analysis results of the generalized additive model (GAM). Model significance: * (P < 0.05), ** (P < 0.001), and *** (P < 0.0001).Environmental variables in bold are the highest goodness-of-fit based on GAM.
Groups Environmental variables AIC R2 Deviance explained/(%) p-Value Sign. April-spawning Temp_25 -238.50 0.72 73.1 0.000 *** SST -106.51 0.40 43 0.000 *** ZV -165.57 0.57 58.6 0.000 *** Temp_25+ZV -299.13 0.81 82.6 0.000 *** SST+ZV -239.13 0.72 73.8 0.000 *** August-spawning SST -674.92 0.97 97.1 0.000 *** Temp_25 -651.80 0.96 96.8 0.000 *** MLD -348.80 0.82 82.5 0.000 ***
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