Climate-driven changes in life-history traits of the bastard grunt (Pomadasys incisus) in the north-western Mediterranean
University of Girona
This study evaluates the influence of sea water temperature on the life-history traits of the thermophilic bastard grunt Pomadasys incisus in the Catalan coast. We compared two key traits of this species, condition and reproduction, from populations in two separate areas with different thermal regimes: the Gulf of Roses (cold area) and the Ebre Delta (warm area). Specimens were collected monthly from each area between 2010 and 2012. The results were also compared with those given in the literature from sites where the species is more common, i.e. the southern Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic. Our findings indicate that, compared to the populations in warmer environments, the population inhabiting the colder waters appears to be in significantly poorer condition and there is some deviance in their life-history traits: egg size and quality being traded-off for higher egg numbers; lower lengths at maturity and alterations to spawning phenology. A certain degree of plasticity in life-history traits may favour the process of expansion and establishment of this thermophilic species into newly available but colder habitats of the north-western Mediterranean under a scenario of climate change.