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Distribution patterns and sexual segregations of Scyliorhinus canicula (L.) in the Cantabrian Sea

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The influence of factors such as depth, near bottom temperature, near bottom salinity, fish length and diet composition on the aggregation of Scyliorhinus canicula in the Cantabrian Sea was examined. The correlation between these variables and the aggregations of each sex was low. A priori juvenile males and females were not highly discriminated by any of these environmental variables (depth, temperature and salinity) based on a multivariate analysis. The best discriminated groups were the new recruits, and depth and longitude were the variables that contributed most to their segregation, while adult males had some preference for shallower and warm waters. Diet composition varied with body size but it was quite similar in both sexes among which no significant differences were observed. An increase in feeding intensity and abundance of Euphasiacea prey taxa was found in adult females compared to males.
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Keywords: Cantabrian Sea; Scyliorhinus canicula; canonical analysis; sexual segregation; social behaviour; spatial distribution

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Instituto Español de Oceanografía, P. O. Box 240. 39080 Santander, Spain

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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