Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 333–346 | Cite as

Winter spatial distribution of fish larvae assemblages relative to the hydrography of the waters surrounding Taiwan

  • Hung-Yen Hsieh
  • Wen-Tseng Lo
  • Don-Chung Liu
  • Pei-Kai Hsu
  • Wei-Cheng Su
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to investigate the species composition and distribution of fish larvae in relation to hydrographic conditions in the waters surrounding Taiwan Island (TI) in February 2003. In total, 242 kinds of fish larvae belonging to 127 genera and 75 families were recognized. Among these, 109 taxa were identified to the family or genus level, others to the species level. The 12 predominant types, which constituted 71% of the total fish larvae, were Engraulis japonica, Scomber sp., Diaphus spp., Benthosema pterotum, Carangoides ferdau, Embolichthys mitsukurii, Maurolicus sp., unidentified Myctophidae, Gonostoma gracile, Trichiurus lepturus, unidentified Gobiidae, and Myctophum asperum. The distribution of fish larvae showed a clear association with water masses around TI, with higher abundances and lower species richness northwest of TI where the China Coastal Current prevails, and lower abundances and higher species diversity east of TI where the Kuroshio Current dominates. Cluster analysis distinguished three station groups and four species groups, and the distribution patterns of fish larvae also corresponded to hydrographic conditions. The total abundances of fish larvae and eight of the 12 predominant taxa showed significant and positive correlations with zooplankton abundance, which suggests that food source might be a key factor determining the abundance and distribution of fish larvae during the winter.


China Coastal Current Fish larvae Kuroshio Current Species composition and distribution Taiwan 


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We thank the crew of the Fishery Researcher I for their assistance in collecting zooplankton samples and other environmental data. The identification of fish larvae species was verified by Dr. Y. T. Wang of Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute. We are grateful to Prof. C. -t Shih of the National Taiwan Ocean University for his critical review and valuable comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by grants from the National Science Council of the Republic of China to W. T. Lo (NSC93-2621-Z 110-002).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hung-Yen Hsieh
    • 1
  • Wen-Tseng Lo
    • 1
  • Don-Chung Liu
    • 2
  • Pei-Kai Hsu
    • 1
  • Wei-Cheng Su
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Marine Biotechnology and ResourcesNational Sun Yat-Sen UniversityKaohsiung Taiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Fisheries Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive YuanKeelung Taiwan, ROC

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