nerc.ac.uk

Southern Ocean mesopelagic fish communities in the Scotia Sea are sustained by mass immigration

Saunders, Ryan A.; Collins, Martin A.; Stowasser, Gabriele; Tarling, Geraint A.. 2017 Southern Ocean mesopelagic fish communities in the Scotia Sea are sustained by mass immigration. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 569. 173-185. 10.3354/meps12093

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img] Text
Southern Ocean mesopelagic fish communities in the Scotia Sea are sustained by mass immigration AAM.docx
Restricted to NORA staff only until 7 April 2018.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

Abstract/Summary

The biomass of mesopelagic fish in the Southern Ocean is one of the largest of any ocean region and is dominated (both in terms of diversity and biomass) by myctophids (lantern-fish). Despite their high ecological importance in this region, and globally, our understanding of the life-cycles and distribution of myctophids remains limited. We examined length-frequency data from trawl-nets collected across a major sector of the Southern Ocean (the Scotia-Weddell sector) in different seasons to determine patterns of recruitment and growth. There was an absence of larval myctophids, of any species, in net-catches, while larger, older individuals became increasingly dominant with increasing latitude. Very few specimens were found to contain mature gonads, indicating that individuals do not reach reproductive condition in this region. Most myctophid species that occurred within the survey regions neither recruited locally nor were self-supporting. Myctophids are prey for a large number of higher predators (penguins, seals and cetaceans) in the Scotia Sea and are a major predator of zooplankton and krill. We show that this vital part of the Southern Ocean food-web is dependent on mass immigration from lower latitudes in the region. By implication, the sensitivities of this system depend not only on local conditions but also on levels of connectivity to other oceanic regions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3354/meps12093
Programmes: BAS Programmes > BAS Programmes 2015 > Ecosystems
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date made live: 13 Mar 2017 13:52 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/516498

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...