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Changes in deep-sea fish and crustacean communities at 1000-2200m in the Western Mediterranean after 25years: Relation to hydro-climatic conditions

AuthorsCartes, Joan Enric ; Maynou, Francesc ; Fanelli, Emanuela ; López-Pérez, C. ; Papiol, Vanesa
KeywordsDeep sea
Decapod crustacean
Western Mediterranean
Hydro-climatic conditions
Dissolved oxygen
Issue DateMar-2015
CitationJournal of Marine Systems 143: 138-153 (2015)
AbstractLong-term changes in the biomass, diversity and composition of deep-living fish and decapods from the Balearic Basin (western Mediterranean) have been compared between two periods, 1985-1992 vs. 2007-2012, based on 106 bottom trawls performed at 1000-2250m. Relationships have been identified between the changes in community composition and the hydroclimatic conditions (e.g. NAO, temperature, salinity and dissolved O2) of the area. We found a generalized deepening of middle-slope communities (950-1250m), especially among decapods, which is suggested (from GLM results) to have been a response to the long-term increase in salinity of the Levantine Intermediate Waters (LIW), located above the level sampled to ca. 700m. Even more pronounced was the shallowing of all of the lower slope species (1600-2250m), accompanied by a significant decrease of biomass from 1985-1992 to 2007-2012. This last tendency would be done to a combination of factors: long-term decrease of O2 in the bottom-boundary layer, greater degradation of POM arriving on the bottom due to temperature increase in the Western Mediterranean Deep Waters (WMDW) and probably a decrease of Chl a at the surface and, thus, of production. The influence of climatic oscillations (NAO) on differences found between 1985-1992 and 2007-2012 seems secondary, likely because the NAO did not show significant differences between the two periods. Some plankton-feeding species showed an increase of density during high/positive NAO (e.g. Alepocephalus rostratus), while some benthos feeders increased during low/negative NAO (e.g. Aristeus antennatus, mainly juveniles). The increase of rainfall and advective fluxes under low/negative NAO (i.e., in 2007-2012) may increase the formation of the nepheloid layer identified over 1200-1400m in the area (Cartes et al., 2013a), linked to zooplankton aggregation in that depth range. Greater food availability could explain the generalized migration by both middle and lower slope species toward these intermediate depths that acquired greater trophic resources. Deep-sea Mediterranean fish and invertebrates, including important commercial species, seemed to undergo long-term changes in its distribution and biomass due to changes in hydro-climatic conditions, mainly a decrease of O2 in the bottom-boundary layer. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Description16 pages, 7 figures, 7 tables
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.10.015
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.10.015
issn: 0924-7963
e-issn: 1879-1573
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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