PhD student from Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences wins ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting Award
Léo Barbut won an outstanding student presentation award for his poster “Integrating field data to parameterise a larval transport model of sole and improve knowledge on connectivity in the north sea” at the ASLO 2015 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Granada (Spain). 361 student presentations were evaluated.
Despite its high economic value, Sole (Solea solea) remains quite mysterious and its life cycle is still poorly known, particularly population dynamics. Sole recruitment has a strong inter-annual variability, poorly correlated with the size of adult’s population. Among many fish taxa, including flatfish, the early life stages are critical in determining recruitment. The sole spawns in spring in the North Sea, eggs and larvae are transported by the currents towards the nurseries in coastal areas where the young fish can grow.
It is possible to simulate the larval transport with a coupled hydrodynamics-biological model. However, it is difficult to obtain observations of life history traits needed for a proper model parametrisation. Estimates may strongly influence the larval dispersal pattern simulated. Various assumptions about these traits are tested by comparing simulation results with field data.
Léo Barbut's work is a first step towards the calibration, validation and improvement of a larval dispersal model of sole which will be used as a tool for management purposes.
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