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Patterns in the distribution of myctophid fish in the northern Scotia Sea ecosystem

By M A Collins, J C C Xavier, N M Johnston, A W North, P Enderlein, G A Tarling, C M Waluda, E J Hawker and N J Cunningham

Abstract

The mesopelagic fish community of the northern\ud Scotia Sea was investigated during the austral autumn\ud using multi-frequency acoustics, opening and closing nets\ud and pelagic trawls fished from the surface to 1,000 m. The\ud Family Myctophidae (15 species in 5 genera) dominated\ud the ichthyofauna, with larval notothenids caught over the\ud South Georgia shelf and bathylagids and stomiids abundant\ud in deeper hauls. The biomass of myctophids was estimated\ud to be 2.93 g wet weight 1,000 m-3, with Electrona carlsbergi,\ud E. antarctica, Protomyctophum bolini, P. choriodon,\ud Gymnoscopelus braueri, G. fraseri, G. nicholsi and Krefftichthys\ud anderssoni, being the most abundant species.\ud Analysis of community structure indicated a high level of\ud depth stratification within the myctophids, with evidence of\ud diurnal vertical migration in some, but not all, species.\ud Length-frequencies of G. braueri, G. nicholsi, E. antarctica\ud and K. anderssoni were multimodal, suggesting that all\ud life stages may be present in the northern Scotia Sea. In\ud contrast, P. choriodon, P. bolini, G. fraseri and E. carlsbergi\ud had unimodal distributions despite having multi-year\ud lifecycles, indicating that they probably migrate into the\ud region from warmer areas to the north

Topics: Marine Sciences, Zoology, Biology and Microbiology, Ecology and Environment
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:7108
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