Structure and distribution of the slope fish community in the vicinity of the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Archipelago

Pakhomov, E.A. and Bushula, T. and Kaehler, S. and Watkins, B.P. and Leslie, R.W. (2006) Structure and distribution of the slope fish community in the vicinity of the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Archipelago. Journal of Fish Biology, 68 (6). pp. 1834-1866. ISSN 0022-1112

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01076.x

Abstract

Demersal fish community structure, distribution and trophic relationships on the slope (depth range 200–1500 m) of the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands and surrounding sea rises were investigated during a pilot survey conducted in April 2001 onboard fishing vessel MV Iris. A total of 56 fish taxa were collected during the survey, of which 44 were identified to the species level, seven to the genus level and five to the family level. Among the identified taxa, 36 constituted new records for the area investigated. Total catch per unit effort (cpue) during the survey ranged from 1•1 to 241•2 individuals h 1. Both average fish diversity and total cpue positively correlated with trawling depth. Overall, mean sampling depth and near-bottom temperature explained 56% of total fish cpue. Hierarchal cluster analysis identified three distinct fish assemblages with pronounced dominant species. Major shifts in fish community composition occurred at 500–600 m and 800–900 m depth strata and could probably be a result of physical and biological vertical zonation. Analysis of the diet of selected fish species showed that they were generalist feeders, consuming predominantly pelagic, including epipelagic, meso- and benthopelagic, prey. Diets of six species and nitrogen stable isotope signatures of 22 species revealed that with a few exceptions most fishes occupied the fourth trophic level and were tertiary consumers. Wide variability in carbon isotopic signatures is discussed with respect to alternative, e.g. possible importance of high Antarctic and chemoautotrophic v. photoautotrophic sub-Antarctic primary production, organic matter sources at the base of deep-sea food webs.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Uncontrolled Keywords:community; demersal fishes; feeding; stable isotopes; sub-Antarctic; TOOTHFISH DISSOSTICHUS-ELEGINOIDES; DEEP-SEA FISHES; PATAGONIAN TOOTHFISH; SOUTHERN-OCEAN; FOOD-WEB; NORTHEASTERN ATLANTIC; BENTHOPELAGIC FISH; CONTINENTAL-SHELF; MACQUARIE ISLAND; MACROURID FISHES
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:815
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:14 Sep 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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