Diversity of Fish Larvae in the Florida Keys: Results from SEFCAR
Abstract:The ichthyoplankton collections of SEFCAR (Southeast Florida and Caribbean Recruitment Project) contain a highly diverse mixture of larvae from fishes of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, and the Florida Current. Larvae from 91 families of fishes were collected at 29 MOCNESS stations near the Florida Keys in May and June 1989. The nine most abundant families were Bregmacerotidae, Myctophidae, Gobiidae, Bothidae, Gonostomatidae, Serranidae, Scombridae, Clupeidae, and Carangidae in that order. Each of these families made up more than 2% of the total of 20,052 larvae. The most specious families were the Myctophidae(31), Serranidae(12), Ophichthidae(8), and Scombridae(7); the Congridae, Labridae, and Paralichthyidae all had 6 species. Of 68 Florida Keys fish families associated with coral reefs, we collected larvae of 43 families during 1 week of sampling. Illustrations are provided of Liopropoma sp., and Eupomacentrus leucostictus. The high biodiversity of fish larvae near the Florida Keys may be a sensitive indicator for the effects of climate change and human impacts on the regional fish fauna. Comprehensive identifications and descriptions of fish larvae help establish the baseline from which to document changes.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 1994
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