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Influence of the Leeuwin Current on the epipelagic euphausiid assemblages of the south-east Indian Ocean

Sutton, A.L. and Beckley, L.E. (2016) Influence of the Leeuwin Current on the epipelagic euphausiid assemblages of the south-east Indian Ocean. Hydrobiologia, 779 (1). pp. 193-207.

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The Leeuwin Current is an anomalous eastern boundary current which transports warm, low salinity water poleward off Western Australia. This study investigated epipelagic euphausiids in the Leeuwin Current system from 22°S to 34°S focusing on the latitudinal gradient in species richness and whether variability in euphausiid assemblages was associated with an increase in seawater density across latitude. Twenty-eight species of euphausiids (including five new records) were identified from the study area. Species richness remained relatively constant across latitude as the distribution of seven tropical species, including the dominant Pseudeuphausia latifrons, extended south of 30°S. Euphausiid assemblages from the northern shelf stations were distinct from the oceanic, shelf break and southern shelf assemblages which, though clustering together, showed evidence of latitudinal shifts and day/night influence, particularly at oceanic stations. Distance-based linear models confirmed that, of the environmental variables examined, mean seawater density was the only significant explanatory variable accounting for 32, 27 and 71% of the variation for shelf, shelf break and night oceanic assemblages, respectively. This study provides the first account of the diversity, distribution and abundance of euphausiids along the entire western seaboard of Australia and enhances understanding of the influence of the Leeuwin Current on holoplanktonic biota

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland
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