Long-term change in benthopelagic fish abundance in the abyssal northeast Pacific Ocean

Bailey, D.M. , Ruhl, H.A. and Smith, K. (2006) Long-term change in benthopelagic fish abundance in the abyssal northeast Pacific Ocean. Ecology, 87(3), pp. 549-555. (doi:10.1890/04-1832)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/04-1832


Food web structure, particularly the relative importance of bottom-up and top-down control of animal abundances, is poorly known for the Earth's largest habitats: the abyssal plains. A unique 15-yr time series of climate, productivity, particulate flux, and abundance of primary consumers (primarily echinoderms) and secondary consumers (fish) was examined to elucidate the response of trophic levels to temporal variation in one another. Towed camera sled deployments in the abyssal northeast Pacific (4100 m water depth) showed that annual mean numbers of the dominant fish genus (Coryphaenoides spp.) more than doubled over the period 1989-2004. Coryphaenoides spp. abundance was significantly correlated with total abundance of mobile epibenthic megafauna (echinoderms), with changes in fish abundance lagging behind changes in the echinoderms. Direct correlations between surface climate and fish abundances, and particulate organic carbon (POC) flux and fish abundances, were insignificant, which may be related to the varied response of the potential prey taxa to climate and POC flux. This Study provides a fare opportunity to study the long-term dynamics of an unexploited marine fish population and Suggests a dominant role for bottom-up control in this system.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Copyright by the Ecological Society of America
Keywords:benthic megafauna; Coryphaenoides spp.; deep water; marine fish; Pacific Ocean; population dynamics
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bailey, Dr David
Authors: Bailey, D.M., Ruhl, H.A., and Smith, K.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Ecology
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2006 Ecological Society of America
First Published:First published in Ecology 87(3):549-555
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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