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Title

Reproductive biology and recruitment of the deep-sea fish community from the NW Mediterranean continental margin

AuthorsFernandez-Arcaya, U. ; Rotllant, Guiomar ; Ramírez-Llodra, Eva ; Recasens, Laura ; Aguzzi, Jacopo ; Flexas, María del Mar; Sánchez-Vidal, Anna; López-Fernández, P.; García, José A. ; Company, Joan B.
Issue DateNov-2013
PublisherElsevier
CitationProgress in Oceanography 118: 222-234 (2013)
AbstractTemporal patterns in deep-sea fish reproduction are presently unknown for the majority of deep continental margins. A series of seasonal trawling surveys between depths of 300 to 1750. m in the Blanes submarine canyon and its adjacent open slope (NW Mediterranean) were conducted. The bathymetric size distributions and reproductive cycles of the most abundant species along the NW Mediterranean margin were analyzed to assess the occurrence of (i) temporal patterns in reproduction (i.e., spawning season) along a bathymetric gradient and (ii) preferential depth strata for recruitment. The fish assemblages were grouped in relation to their bathymetric distribution: upper slope, middle slope and lower slope species. Middle-slope species (i.e., 800-1350. m) showed short (i.e., highly seasonal) reproductive activity compared to the upper (300-800. m) and lower (1350-1750. m) ones. Our results, together with those previously published for megabenthic crustacean decapods in the area, suggest a cross-phyla depth-related trend of seasonality in reproduction. In the middle and lower slope species, the reproductive activity reached a maximum in the autumn-winter months and decreased in the spring. The observed seasonal spawning patterns appear to be ultimately correlated with changes in the downward transport of organic particles and with seasonal changes in the physicochemical characteristics of the surrounding water masses. The distribution of juveniles was associated with the bathymetric stratum where intermediate nepheloid layers interact with the continental margins, indicating that this stratum acts as a deep-sea fish nursery area. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
DescriptionSpecial issue Integrated study of a deep submarine canyon and adjacent open slopes in the Western Mediterranean Sea: an essential habitat.-- 13 pages, 10 figures, 3 tables
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2013.07.019
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/90180
DOI10.1016/j.pocean.2013.07.019
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2013.07.019
issn: 0079-6611
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