Marine Biology

, Volume 120, Issue 2, pp 211–219

Spatio-temporal variations in megabenthos abundance in three different habitats of the Catalan deep-sea (Western Mediterranean)

  • F. Sardà
  • J. E. Cartes
  • J. B. Company


The spatio-temporal variations in the megafauna (fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates) in three different habitats on the slope in the Western Mediterranean (Catalan coast off Barcelona) have been investigated. Samples were collected at two fixed stations during 1991 and 1992, one inside and one outside a submarine canyon (at depths between 450 and 600 m) and additional samples were collected at another station on the lower slope (at a depth of 1200 m) in each season of the year. Three replicates of each sample were taken at each station. Differences observed between habitats, seasons, and zoological groupings were verified statistically by factorial ANOVA. The habitat appeared to be the main factor responsible for the differences observed in biomass and abundance values for the zoological groupings considered. Decapod crustacean biomass was higher in the submarine canyon than in neighbouring zones, and smaller species and juveniles were more abundant inside the canyon in the case of both fishes and crustaceans. Fish biomass was most abundant in the lower slope. Seasonality was also a factor, although to a lesser extent. Seasonal variations in biomass, especially fish biomass, were recorded in the deepest zone (1200 m). Crustaceans displayed lower sensitivity to seasonal factors, whereas other invertebrates did not, on the whole, exhibit seasonal variations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Sardà
    • 1
  • J. E. Cartes
    • 1
  • J. B. Company
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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