Seasonal patterns of investment in reproductive and somatic tissues in the squid Loligo forbesi

J M Smith, G J Pierce, A F Zuur, P R Boyle

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Despite many previous studies on the life history of the squid Loligo forbesi, the roles of internal and external factors in growth and maturation have not previously been investigated in detail. The present study takes advantage of the availability of statistical techniques, namely generalised additive models, which permit simultaneous evaluation of the effects of multiple explanatory variables while avoiding the need to assume linear relationships. This has the further advantage that the size of body parts can be entered directly into the models rather than expressed as indices (e.g., gonado-somatic index). The present analysis is based on measurements taken from monthly market samples during 1989-1991 and aims to infer patterns of reproductive and somatic investment though comparison of large numbers of individuals at different (post recruit) life-cycle stages. Results indicate that, once the effect of body size is removed, gonad weight in both sexes is affected by month and digestive gland weight, consistent with seasonal triggering of maturation, and with energy for gonad growth being derived from food. There is also evidence of a negative relationship between somatic and ovary growth in females, possibly indicating remobilisation of somatic tissue to grow the ovary. In males, relationships between variables tended to have more complex forms, probably related to the existence of two or more growth patterns leading to different sizes at maturity. As found in previous work, maturation begins around 1-2 months earlier in males, suggesting that sensitivity to external triggers is controlled by a sex-dependent internal factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-351
Number of pages11
JournalAquatic Living Resources
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • life-history
  • maturation
  • generalised additive models
  • squid
  • Loligo forbesi
  • Scottish Waters
  • sepioteuthis-lessoniana
  • Irish Waters
  • cephalopoda
  • growth
  • loliginidae
  • Atlantic
  • ommastrephidae


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