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Spatial distribution and overlap between ichthyoplankton and pelagic fish and squids on the southern flank of Georges Bank

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We conducted larval and adult fish surveys on the southern flank of Georges Bank during the spring of two years (1990 and 1995) with contrasting physical conditions. We employed canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) to examine the relationships between physical variables and the spatial distribution of pelagic fish and ichthyoplankton. Surface temperature bottom temperature, and vertical stratification were significant factors affecting larval fish distributions, and there were groups of species with similar responses to these variables. There were also consistent relationships between physical variables and pelagic fish and squid abundances and spatial distributions. Pelagic fish and ichthyoplankton with similar responses to hydrographic variables had high spatial overlap, and variation in hydrographic regimes modulated the strength of this interaction. Pelagic fish and squids are potentially important predators of both larval and juvenile fish on Georges Bank. Hydrographic structure modulates the degree of spatial overlap and therefore likely influences the strength of predator–prey interactions.

Keywords: Georges Bank; ichthyoplankton; pelagic fish; physical processes; predator–prey interactions; spatial overlap

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, 166 Water St., Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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