Assessing Bathymetric Distribution of Meroplankton Communities in Shallow Waters Using Light Traps
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AuthorsTor, A. (Ariadna); Deudero, S. (Salud); Carbonell, A. (Ana); Goñi, R. (Raquel); Stobart, B. (Ben)
Small- scale distribution patterns of larval distribution were studied at a very nearshore meroplanktonic community during the months of June and August 2009 in two Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPAs), Cala Ratjada and Columbretes Islands, using light traps. A total of 129,255 epibenthic and meroplanktonic organisms belonging to 39 taxa were collected. Peracarida crustaceans were the most abundant taxa, followed by larval decapods, especially brachyuran, with Monodaeus couchii, Pinnotheres sp., Ebalia sp. and specimens from Portunidae family as the most abundant species. In Cala Ratjada, a clear vertical pattern on species distribution was found, with lower abundance at near-surface traps and higher at near-bottom traps. The horizontal distribution was also tested, with higher captures in nearshore stations, decreasing as moving offshore. A vertical pattern was also found in Columbretes Islands, although results did not show clear significant differences. In both marine reserves, ...