Larval fish assemblage structure in the surface layer of the northwestern Mediterranean under contrasting oceanographic scenarios
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AuthorsÁlvarez, I; Rodríguez, J.M. (José María); Catalán, I.A.; Hidalgo, M. (Manuel); Álvarez-Berastegui, D. (Diego); Balbín, R. (Rosa); Aparicio-González, A. (Alberto); Alemany, F. (Francisco)
Keywordsmesoscale circulation; dynamic height; fish larvae; spawning grounds; spatial distribution; NW Mediterranean
During the summer, the relative influence of resident Atlantic Waters (AW) and new AW largely drives the mesoscale dynamics around the Balearic Islands (NW Mediterranean). Two principal summer hydrographic scenarios were identified in the region, differentiated by the relative position of the density front between new and resident AW within the archipelago and its associated mesoscale activity. In this study, we investigated how those early summer mesoscale scenarios influence larval fish assemblages, by analyzing data from two cruises representative of these two scenarios (2004 and 2005). Redundancy analysis was used to assess the variance in the larval fish assemblage that could be significantly explained by the most parsimonious combination of available environmental variables in both years. While depth was the most important variable in explaining the larval fish assemblage structure variability observed under both scenarios, indicators of mesoscale activity (dynamic height, ...