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

Abstract

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.

Type
Biological Sciences
Copyright
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2015 

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