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Title

Larval fish assemblage structure in the surface layer of the northwestern Mediterranean under contrasting oceanographic scenarios

AuthorsÁlvarez-Ellacuria, Itziar ; Rodríguez, José María; Catalán, Ignacio Alberto ; Hidalgo, Manuel ; Álvarez-Berastegui, Diego; Balbín, Rosa; Aparicio-González, Alberto; Alemany, Francesc
KeywordsDynamic height
Fish larvae
Mesoscale circulation
NW Mediterranean
Spatial distribution
Spawning grounds
Issue Date4-Jul-2015
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationJournal of Plankton Research 37(4): 834-850 (2015)
AbstractDuring the summer, the relative influence of resident Atlantic Waters (AW) and new AW largely drives the mesoscale dynamics around the Balearic Islands (NW Mediterranean). Two principal summer hydrographic scenarios were identified in the region, differentiated by the relative position of the density front between new and resident AW within the archipelago and its associated mesoscale activity. In this study, we investigated how those early summer mesoscale scenarios influence larval fish assemblages, by analyzing data from two cruises representative of these two scenarios (2004 and 2005). Redundancy analysis was used to assess the variance in the larval fish assemblage that could be significantly explained by the most parsimonious combination of available environmental variables in both years. While depth was the most important variable in explaining the larval fish assemblage structure variability observed under both scenarios, indicators of mesoscale activity (dynamic height, geostrophic velocity) contributed significantly to understanding the dynamics of the larval fish community. Mesoscale activity was higher in summer 2004, leading to higher larval fish abundances and zooplankton biomass and lower larval fish diversity than in the unusually warm summer 2005, which showed lower mesoscale activity. The larval assemblage dynamics are discussed in terms of extrinsic and species-specific factors.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbv055
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/126055
DOI10.1093/plankt/fbv055
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/plankt/fbv055
issn: 1464-3774
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