Habitat and distribution of post-recruit life stages of the squid Loligo forbesii

Jennifer M. Smith*, Colin D. Macleod, Vasilis Valavanis, Lee Hastie, Tooraj Valinassab, Nick Bailey, M. Begona Santos, Graham J. Pierce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study models habitat preferences of the squid Loligo forbesii through its post-recruitment life cycle in waters around Scotland (UK). Trawl survey and market sample data from 1985 to 2004 are used to model seasonal habitats of immature, maturing and mature squid (maturity being inferred from size and season). Squid presence-absence and catch rate in areas of presence were analysed using generalised additive models, relating spatiotemporal patterns of distribution and abundance to ecogeographic variables. For all maturity classes, higher abundance in winter and spring (i.e., quarters 1 and 2) was associated with deeper water while higher abundance in summer and autumn (quarters 3 and 4) was associated with shallower water, consistent with seasonal onshore-offshore migrations but suggesting that most spawning may take place in deeper waters. The preferred SST range was generally 8-8.75 degrees C while preferred salinity values were below 35% in winter and summer and above 35% in spring and autumn. Squid were positively associated with gravel substrate and negatively associated with mud. Seasonal changes in habitat use were more clearly evident than changes related to inferred maturity, although the two effects cannot be fully separated due to the annual life cycle. Habitat selection for this species can be satisfactorily modelled on a seasonal basis; predictions based on such models could be useful for fishers to target the species more effectively, and could assist managers wishing to protect spawning grounds. The extent to which this approach may be useful for other cephalopods is discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-159
Number of pages15
JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2013


  • squid
  • Loligo forbesii
  • habitat use
  • life stage
  • ecogeographic variables
  • environmental interactions
  • North Pacific-Ocean
  • Scottish Waters
  • todarodes-pacificus
  • Illex-Argentinus
  • English-Channel
  • South Atlantic
  • time-series
  • cephalopoda
  • abundance
  • loliginidae


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