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Free Content Seasonal Composition and Abundance of Decapod Crustacean Assemblages from the South Atlantic Bight, USA

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Samples of decapod Crustacea were collected by trawl during seasonal cruises at 496 randomly located stations in the South Atlantic Bight between Cape Fear, North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida. Stations were located within depth zones of 9–18 m, 19–27 m, 28–55 m, 56–110 m, 111–183 m and 184–366 m. A total of 184 species of decapod Crustacea, comprising 12,943 individuals from 38 families, was collected. Families with the most species were Majidae and Xanthidae, while the Penaeidae comprised about 42% of the total number of individuals. The ten most abundant species were: the shrimps, Sicyonia brevirostris, Mesopenaeus tropicalis, Trachypenaeus constrictus, Metapenaeopsis goodei, and Solenocera atlantidis; the portunid crab, Portunus spinicarpus and Ovalipes stephensoni; the scyllarid lobster Scyllarus chacei; the majid crab, Stenorhynchus seticornis; and the crangonid shrimp Pontophilus brevirostris. These ten species comprised about 77% of all individuals collected. Normal and inverse cluster analyses indicated that site and species groups were related to depth. There was no latitudinal separation of site groups, and depth related changes in groups were altered very little seasonally. Species groups consisted of an inner shelf assemblage, an open shelf assemblage and an upper slope assemblage. Both cluster analysis and reciprocal averaging ordination showed the site groups and faunal assemblages of the upper slope (> 145 m) were distinct from those located at shallower depths. Diversity values of H′, species richness and evenness for open shelf, sand bottom stations remained uniform from the inner continental shelf to the upper continental slope; however, stations characterized by hard or rocky substrates and attached sessile invertebrates, such as octocorals, sponges, tunicates and bryozoans, tended to have greater diversity than the open shelf stations at the same depth.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1982-01-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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