Persistent near-bottom aggregations of mesopelagic animals along the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes

Marine Biology
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Submersible observations during four missions over the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes (184–900 m) documented the occurrence of large aggregations of mesopelagic fishes and macronektonic invertebrates near or on the bottom. Aggregated mesopelagics formed a layer up to tens of meters deep positioned from a few centimeters to 20 m, usually <10 m, above the substrate. Aggregations were numerically dominated by microvores, notably the myctophid fishCeratoscopelus maderensis and the penaeid shrimp Sergestes arcticus. Consistently present but in relatively lower numbers, were mesopelagic predators, including the paralepidids Notolepis rissoiand Lestidium atlanticum, the eel Nemichthys scolopaceus, the stomiid fishes Chauliodus sloaniand Stomias boa ferox, and squids Illex spp. Near-bottom aggregations do not appear to be an artifact due to attraction to the submersible. Based on submersible observations in three areas in 4 years spanning a decade, near-bottom aggregations of midwater organisms appear to be a geographically widespread and persistent phenomenon along the continental slope of the southeastern US Aggregations may exploit areas of enhanced food resources at the bottom.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Persistent near-bottom aggregations of mesopelagic animals along the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes
Series title Marine Biology
DOI 10.1007/s00227-007-0855-1
Volume 153
Issue 5
Year Published 2008
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 17 p.
First page 825
Last page 841
Country United States
State North Carolina, Virginia
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N