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Composition, distribution, and diversity of pelagic fishes around the Canary Islands, Eastern Central Atlantic
Wienerroither, R.; Uiblein, F.; Fernando, F.; Moreno, T. (2009). Composition, distribution, and diversity of pelagic fishes around the Canary Islands, Eastern Central Atlantic. Mar. Biol. Res. 5(4): 328-344
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article

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  • Wienerroither, R.
  • Uiblein, F., more
  • Fernando, F.
  • Moreno, T.

Abstract
    Oceanic islands of volcanic origin have a narrow shelf and a steep slope that should lead to considerable spatial overlap among coastal and oceanic fauna. During six pelagic surveys in the Canarian archipelago, Eastern Central Atlantic, over 65,000 fishes belonging to 211 species were collected at depths between 8 and 1035 m. The mesopelagic families of the lanternfishes (Myctophidae) and the bristlemouths (Gonostomatidae) accounted for about 50% of all specimens. By multivariate classification and ordination methods four different assemblages associated with mesopelagic, epipelagic-oceanic or coastal habitats could be identified. Two of these assemblages were coastal, differing in the proportion of meso- and epipelagic species. These data indicate intense horizontal migrations of mesopelagic fishes (mainly Myctophidae) into the neritic realm and increased interactions between coastal and oceanic habitats. Alpha diversity indices were higher and dominance was lower in oceanic habitats compared to the coastal realm. No marked differences among oceanographically similar areas of the entire archipelago were found. Beta diversity as a measure of similarity among sites or samples revealed variabilities between areas south of Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura islands. A considerable heterogeneity in species distribution was found off SE Fuerteventura in an area with high hydrographic variability. Therefore, both topography and hydrography are important factors influencing the distribution and abundance of pelagic fishes in this oceanic archipelago.

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