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Biomass and taxonomic composition of micronekton in the western tropical–subtropical Pacific

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The biomass distribution, community structure and species composition of the dominant micronektonic animals were determined in the western tropical Pacific, using day/night sampling from upper 200 m depth with a commercial midwater otter trawl in fall-winter of 1994, 1995 and 1997. Night-time micronekton biomass was significantly higher than daytime biomass except for a few cases. All the night-time catches had similar taxonomic composition, dominated by myctophid fishes, small squids, shrimps and euphausiids. Night-time micronekton biomass in the upper 200 m was assumed to be higher in the North Equatorial Counter Current than in the North Equatorial Current, reflecting the zooplankton biomass distribution which micronektons feed on at night. A total of 42 species of myctophid fishes, 34 species of squids, 27 species of shrimps and six species of euphausiids were collected. Community types of each dominant taxonomic group were classified by cluster analysis based on the species composition. A station located north of the subtropical convergence zone was distinct from other tropical stations south of the convergence zone, having significantly different species composition in three of the four dominant taxonomic groups (myctophids, squids and shrimps). The interaction between the larvae of commercially important fishes and micronektonic animals is discussed.
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Keywords: biomass; distribution pattern; micronekton; species composition; western tropical Pacific

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 1-15-1 Minamidai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164–8639, 2: National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, 5-7-1 Orido, Shimizu, Shizuoka 424–8633, 3: National Science Museum, 3-23-2 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169–0073, Japan

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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