, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 225-233

Benthic-slope fishes found at 900m depth along a transect in the western N. Atlantic Ocean

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Abstract

The species composition of the benthic-slope fish fauna of the Middle Atlantic Bight is described from trawl catches taken from a depth of about 900 m in August, 1969. Two species associations and an intermediate area are apparent. The difference between the two associations is partially attributable to differences in species composition, but primarily to a difference in species dominance. The small number of samples precludes geographic and bathymetric delineation of these associations, as well as conclusions about their temporal stability. Diversity values appear to be relatively high for the benthic fishes of the upper slope, but comparison with values for temperate estuaries and coastal fishes indicates a narrow range for all of these habitats, and considerable overlap in values from the different environments. Environmental stability may be of less importance in determining the diversity of fish faunas than of benthic invertebrate faunas because of the mobility of fishes and ontogenetic changes in their habitat preference.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science Contribution No. 600.
Communicated by J. Bunt, Miami