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Zonation of demersal fishes off Anvers Island, western Antarctic Peninsula

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2015

Margaret O. Amsler*
Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
Joseph T. Eastman
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA
Kathryn E. Smith
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901, USA
James B. Mcclintock
Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
Hanumant Singh
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
Sven Thatje
Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
Richard B. Aronson
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901, USA


The Antarctic fish fauna from outer continental shelf/upper slope depths is under-sampled compared to that of the inner shelf, and there are limited quantitative data available on absolute abundance and taxonomic change with depth. A photographic survey of demersal fishes was conducted along a depth-gradient of 400–2099 m on the outer shelf and upper slope west of Anvers Island, Palmer Archipelago. A total of 1490 fishes were identified at least to the family level. Notothenioids composed 52.7% of absolute abundance and non-notothenioids 47.3%. The most abundant families were Nototheniidae (39.4%), followed by Macrouridae (28.9%), Zoarcidae (16.9%), and Channichthyidae (12.1%). The most abundant species were the notothenioids Lepidonotothen squamifrons (30.5%) and Chionobathyscus dewitti (11.7%), and the non-notothenioid Macrourus spp. (29.5%). The absolute abundance of all fishes peaked at 400–599 m. Depths of maximum abundance were 400–599 m for L. squamifrons, 700–1499 m for Macrourus spp., and 900–1499 for C. dewitti. At 700–999 m the abundance shifted from primarily notothenioids to the non-notothenioids Macrourus spp. and zoarcids. Fishes of the outer shelf and upper slope are not provincialized like those of the inner shelf and are circum-Antarctic.

Biological Sciences
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2015 

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