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Mesoscale high-frequency variability in the Alboran Sea and its influence on fish larvae distributions

AuthorsVargas-Yáñez, Manuel; Sabatés, Ana
KeywordsAlboran Sea
Ichtyoplankton distributions
Physical-biological coupling
High frequency variability
Issue DateDec-2007
CitationJournal of Marine Systems 68(3-4):421-438 (2007)
AbstractThis work analyses a multidisciplinary data set including hydrological and meteorological data, satellite images, and fish larvae abundance from a high-frequency experiment conducted along a north–south transect across the Western Alboran Sea anticyclonic gyre. Four consecutive occupations of the transect, crossing the frontal area, evidenced the high-frequency variability of hydrological structures and its influence on the latitudinal and vertical distribution of fish larvae in a period of a few days. The influence of dynamical processes on fish larvae depends on the location of the spawning as well as on the larval fish position in the water column. Wind induced upwelling and/or the southward drift of the Atlantic current transport larvae of neritic species, such as Sardina pilchardus and Engraulis encrasicolus to open sea areas. At the same time, these events bring about alterations in the latitudinal and vertical distributions of mesopelagic fish larvae. The species with a relatively surface distribution, as Ceratoscopelus maderensis, were transported and accumulated to the south of the Atlantic Jet (AJ), while those with a deeper distribution in the water column, as Maurolicus muelleri or Benthosema glaciale, would be upwelled and concentrated to the north. This study shows that it is difficult to extract conclusions about the mean or preferential distributions of fish larvae when one single/synoptic survey is considered and that time evolution of hydrological structures has to be considered in order to conclude.
Description18 pages,14 figures,2 tables
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2007.01.004
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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