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Vertical distribution patterns of early stages of mesopelagic fishes along 110 °E, south-east Indian Ocean

Olivar, M.P. and Beckley, L.E. (2022) Vertical distribution patterns of early stages of mesopelagic fishes along 110 °E, south-east Indian Ocean. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 201 . Art. 105111.

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This study examines vertical distribution of the early stages of mesopelagic fishes in the south-eastern Indian Ocean and oceanographic factors that may affect it. This investigation along the 110 °E transect formed part of the second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2). Depth-stratified samples to 500 m depth of early stages of mesopelagic fishes were obtained by means a multinet EZ-1 m2. This net captured larvae and transforming stages, but juveniles and adults were also caught, particularly at night. Diel vertical patterns of the different species and stages were analysed relative to the oceanographic conditions encountered at the 20 stations along the transect. This paper provides the ranges of vertical occurrence and weighted mean depth for larvae (135 taxa), and post-metamorphic stages (75 taxa) of fishes caught during the survey. Despite the varying vertical profiles of oceanographic parameters encountered, there were consistent patterns within species and families along the transect, with broader vertical distribution of larvae at the southern stations, where the upper mixed layer was deeper. During both day and night, larval stages of all the species were concentrated in the epipelagic zone, with some differences in terms of weighted mean depth (WMD) between taxa, but with no significant differences in vertical location between day and night. Transforming and juvenile-adult stages, however, presented a wider vertical distribution range than larval stages, and showed important differences among families and species. For example, Myctophidae and Phosichthyidae species presented the highest concentrations in the upper 50–100 m at night, and a much deeper distribution during the day, thereby indicating night vertical migration behaviour of transforming and juvenile-adult stages. By contrast, during these stages the Gonostomatidae Cyclothone spp. and the Sternoptychidae Argyropelecus spp. occurred deeper than the epipelagic layer during both day and night. Although these vertical patterns concur with results from other oceans, the WMD along 110 °E was slightly deeper than that observed in other areas, such as the eastern Atlantic, possibly related to water transparency in this oligotrophic part of the world's oceans.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd.
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