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Latitudinal variation of demersal fish assemblages in the western Ross Sea

  • Malcolm R. Clark (a1), Matthew R. Dunn (a1), Peter J. McMillan (a1), Matthew H. Pinkerton (a1), Andrew Stewart (a2) and Stuart M. Hanchet (a3)...

Abstract

Demersal fishes were sampled using a large fish trawl during two surveys carried out in February and March 2004 and 2008 in the Ross Sea, and around seamounts and islands just to the north at 66°S. The distribution and abundance of 65 species collected in these surveys were examined to determine if demersal fish communities varied throughout the area, and what environmental factors might influence this. Species accumulation with sample frequency did not reach an asymptote, but the rate of new species was low suggesting data were adequate for describing the main components of the communities. Three broad assemblages were identified, in the southern Ross Sea (south of 74°S), central–northern Ross Sea (between latitudes 71°–74°S), and the seamounts further north (65°–68°S) where some species more typical of sub-Antarctic latitudes were observed. Multivariate analyses indicated that environmental factors of seafloor rugosity (roughness), temperature, depth, and current speed were the main variables determining patterns in demersal fish communities.

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Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
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