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THE CONNECTION OF THE INTENSITY OF THE PLANKTON COMMUNITY LUMINESCENCE AND THE AGE DISTRIBUTION OF HORSE MACKEREL IN THE COASTAL WATERS OF THE SOUTH-WESTERN CRIMEA

Elena B. Melnikova, Natalya S. Kuz'minova

Abstract


The analysis of the seasonal and interannual variability of the luminescence intensity of the plankton community in the coastal waters of the south-western Crimea and its interrelation with the age distribution of horse mackerel in spring-summer catches are investigated. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, the intensity of glow of organisms in winter was 2-10 times lower than the mean value (193 pW ∙ cm-2 ∙ dm-3), which indicates a worsening of the state of the plankton community of pelagic in these years, which led to a deterioration of the food reserve in the subsequent (spring) period. In the years with a high intensity of hydrobionts glow in winter (2010, 2011 and 2015), the rapid spring grown of plankton led to an increase in the intensity of organisms' glow in May by almost 6 times compared with the winter period. Such situation affects the relative age of pelagic fish in the coastal waters. The relative number of yearlings and two-year-old Trachurus mediterraneus and changes in the luminescence intensity of the plankton community are characterized by a negative correlation coefficient, that means that when the intensity of plankton luminescence decreases in the winter, the relative number of 1 and 2 -year old fish in spring-summer catches increases. In the years characterized by a higher intensity of glow in organisms in May, growth of horse mackerel in the spring-summer period is more intensively. The coefficient of correlation with the average weight of individuals of horse mackerel of different age groups is in the range 0.73 ‒ 0.84.

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