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Drivers of larval fish assemblage shift during the spring-summer transition in the coastal Mediterranean

AuthorsÁlvarez-Ellacuria, Itziar ; Catalán, Ignacio Alberto ; Jordi, Antoni ; Palmer, Miquel ; Sabatés, Ana ; Basterretxea, Gotzon
KeywordsFish larvae
Coastal zone
Environmental factors
Western Mediterranean
Issue Date20-Jun-2012
CitationEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 97: 127–135 (2012)
AbstractThe influence of coastal environmental conditions from winter-spring to summer on fish larvae assemblages in a temperate area has suggested a seasonal shift in ecosystem-level variation through which trophic pathways shift from the pelagic to the benthic system. This variation may be related to marked effects in the reproductive strategies in the fishes inhabiting the area and indirectly affect ichthyoplankton assemblages. Larval fish assemblages were sampled fortnightly at three stations located in coastal waters off southern Mallorca (Western Mediterranean) from March to August 2007, covering the main spawning period for the resident coastal fish in this region. The larval fish assemblage showed clear seasonality with higher specific abundance but lower diversity in the spring. Two main assemblages were identified: a spring assemblage, occurring at surface seawater temperatures <20 °C and dominated by species with relatively larger home ranges, such as Boops boops, Sardina pilchardus, Trachurus trachurus, and Spicara smaris, and a summer assemblage characterised by the presence of the benthopelagic Coris julis, Serranus hepatus, Serranus cabrilla and Mullus spp., among others. The shift between these ichthyoplankton communities occurred in early June, coinciding with the onset of summer hydrographical conditions and the local benthic productivity peak
Description9 pages, 7 figures
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2011.11.029
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
(IMEDEA) Artículos
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