Usefulness of the spatial indices to define the distribution pattern of key life stages: an application to the red mullet (Mullus barbatus) population in the south Tyrrhenian sea

spatial indices Tyrrhenian sea red mullet



This study aims to explore the performance of the approach based on spatial indicators to
characterise with quantitative metrics the spatial dynamics of red mullet life stages (recruits
and adults), to identify areas where red mullet recruits are more concentrated, to establish
relationships with the adult distribution and to detect the ability of spatial indicators to
capture the stability of the spatial occupation of preferential areas across the years. Data are
from the GRUND and MEDITS experimental trawl surveys. The methodological approach
used in this study is based on the estimate of spatial indicators as developed within the EU
Fisboat project. The results proved that many of the 9 examined spatial indicators and
pairwise relationships, between indicators and abundance, enabled us to better understand
the spatial distribution and interannual variability of the red mullet population life stages and
the relationships between spatial distribution and abundance. In addition, we identified the
geographical area (southwards, along the Calabria coast) where recruits of red mullet
resulted mainly distributed and we also verified that these locations are stable across years.