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CORMON, X., LOOTS, C., VAZ, S., VERMARD, Y., & MARCHAL, P. (2014). Spatial interactions between saithe (Pollachius virens) and hake (Merluccius merluccius) in the North Sea. Ices Journal Of Marine Science, 71(6), 1342–1355.
Résumé: Spatial interactions between saithe (Pollachius virens) and hake (Merluccius merluccius) were investigated in the North Sea. Saithe is a well-established species in the North Sea, while occurrence of the less common hake has recently increased in the area. Spatial dynamics of these two species and their potential spatial interactions were explored using binomial generalized linear models (GLM) applied to the International Bottom Trawl Survey (IBTS) data from 1991 to 2012. Models included different types of variables: (i) abiotic variables including sediment types, temperature, and bathymetry; (ii) biotic variables including potential competitors and potential preys presence; and (iii) spatial variables. The models were reduced and used to predict and map probable habitats of saithe, hake but also, for the first time in the North Sea, the distribution of the spatial overlap between these two species. Changes in distribution patterns of these two species and of their overlap were also investigated by comparing species' presence and overlap probabilities predicted over an early (1991–1996) and a late period (2007–2012). The results show an increase in the probability over time of the overlap between saithe and hake along with an expansion towards the southwest and Scottish waters. These shifts follow trends observed in temperature data and might be indirectly induced by climate changes. Saithe, hake, and their overlap are positively influenced by potential preys and/or competitors, which confirms spatial co-occurrence of the species concerned and leads to the questions of predator–prey relationships and competition. Finally, the present study provides robust predictions concerning the spatial distribution of saithe, hake, and of their overlap in the North Sea, which may be of interest for fishery managers.