A review of cephalopod-environment interactions in European Seas

Graham John Pierce, Vasilis D. Valavanis, Angel Guerra, Patricia Jereb, Lydia Orsi-Relini, Jose M Bellido-Millan, Isidora Katara, Uwe Piatkowski, Joao Pereira, Eduardo Balguerias, Ignacio Sobrino, Eugenia Lefkaditou, Jianjun Wang, Marina Santurtun, Peter Robin Boyle, Lee Clark Hastie, Colin D MacLeod, Jennifer Marie Smith, Mafalda Viana, Angel F. GonzalezAlain F Zuur

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


Cephalopods are highly sensitive to environmental conditions and changes at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Relationships documented between cephalopod stock dynamics and environmental conditions are of two main types: those concerning the geographic distribution of abundance, for which the mechanism is often unknown, and those relating to biological processes such as egg survival, growth, recruitment and migration, where mechanisms are sometimes known and in a very few cases demonstrated by experimental evidence. Cephalopods seem to respond to environmental variation both 'actively' (e.g. migrating to areas with more favoured environmental conditions for feeding or spawning) and 'passively' (growth and survival vary according to conditions experienced, passive migration with prevailing currents). Environmental effects on early life stages can affect life history characteristics (growth and maturation rates) as well as distribution and abundance. Both large-scale atmospheric and oceanic processes and local environmental variation appear to play important roles in species-environment interactions. While oceanographic conditions are of particular significance for mobile pelagic species such as the ommastrephid squids, the less widely ranging demersal and benthic species may be more dependent on other physical habitat characteristics (e.g. substrate and bathymetry). Coastal species may be impacted by variations in water quality and salinity (related to rainfall and river flow). Gaps in current knowledge and future research priorities are discussed. Key research goals include linking distribution and abundance to environmental effects on biological processes, and using such knowledge to provide environmental indicators and to underpin fishery management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-70
Number of pages22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • cephalopods
  • Gulf Stream
  • North Atlantic Oscillation
  • fisheries
  • ocean processes
  • ecology
  • squid loligo-vulgaris
  • sensed mesoscale oceanography
  • Illex-Argentinus cephalopoda
  • Sepia-officinalis linnaeus
  • North-Atlantic oscillation
  • Western Mediterranean Sea
  • Eastern Pacific-Ocean
  • time-series analysis
  • short-finned squid
  • waters NW Spain


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