Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 215–234 | Cite as

New Zealand Demersal Fish Assemblages

  • Malcolm P. Francis
  • Rosemary J. Hurst
  • Brian H. McArdle
  • Neil W. Bagley
  • Owen F. Anderson


Demersal fish assemblages in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone were identified using presence–absence data from 19 215 bottom trawl tows made over a 37-year period. The dataset spanned latitudes 34–54°S and depths of 4–1500 m. A total of 123 taxa occurred in more than 1% of the tows (121 fish and 2 squid). Multivariate ordination and classification (correspondence analysis and Ward's cluster analysis) identified four primary species assemblages that were associated with the inner continental shelf, mid–outer continental shelf and shelf edge, upper continental slope and mid continental slope. The most frequently occurring species (> 40% of tows) in each assemblage were (in descending order): inshore – Chelidonichthys kumu, Pagrus auratus and Zeus faber; shelf – Nototodarus spp., Squalus acanthias and Thyrsites atun; upper slope – Macruronus novaezelandiae, Lepidorhynchus denticulatus, Genypterus blacodes and Hydrolagus sp.; mid slope – Hoplostethus atlanticus, Etmopterus baxteri, Halargyreus johnsonii, Coryphaenoides subserrulatus, Deania calcea, Coryphaenoides serrulatus, Pseudocyttus maculatus, Mora moro, Diastobranchus capensis and Centroscymnus crepidater. Further species associations were also identified within each primary assemblage. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that most of the explainable variation in species composition was associated with depth and latitude; longitude and season explained little extra variance. The usefulness of our results is limited by the use of presence–absence rather than abundance data, and by the uneven spatial distribution of trawl tows. However, the present study provides a large-scale framework within which to interpret the results of studies using abundance data over smaller spatial and temporal scales.

depth latitude correspondence analysis cluster analysis canonical correspondence analysis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm P. Francis
    • 1
  • Rosemary J. Hurst
    • 1
  • Brian H. McArdle
    • 2
  • Neil W. Bagley
    • 1
  • Owen F. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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