Elasmobranch spatial segregation in the western Mediterranean
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AuthorsGouraguine, A. (Adam); Hidalgo, M. (Manuel); Moranta, J. (Joan); Bailey, D.M. (David M.); Ordines, F. (Francesc); Guijarro, B. (Beatriz); Valls-Mir, M. (María); Barberá, C. (Carmen); Quetglas, A. (Antoni); de-Mesa, A. (Aina)
Basic information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically important species is essential for their management and protection. This study focuses on the depth related trends and the geographic patterns that shape the community of the elasmobranch species in the Balearic Islands (Mediterranean Sea) using data collected from 2001 to 2009. Non-metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) ordination was used to detect zonation patterns in the community. Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) were applied to analyse spatial and temporal variation in elasmobranch community descriptors (abundance, biomass, mean fish weight, number of species and diversity), as well as the abundance and mean length of the four individual species (S. canicula, G. melastomus, R. clavata, R. miraletus). Depth was the main factor determining the assemblage composition, and the MDS analysis identified four main groups with 60% of the similarity found to correspond to the continental shelf, shelf break, upper ...