Abundance and diurnal vertical distribution of fish larvae in early spring and summer in a fjord at South Georgia

The diurnal vertical distribution and abundance of fish larvae was studied by net samples in the 265 m deep fjord of Cumberland East Bay, South Georgia. In early spring the six most abundant species of fish larvae in the upper 200 m of the water column were Champsocephalus gunnari, Lepidonotothen nudifrons, Pseudochaenichthys georgianus, Chaenocephalus aceratus, Parachaenichthys' georgianus and Electrona antarctica. In summer, the larvae of C. gunnari, Gobionotothen gibberifrons, Lepidonotothen larseni and Trematomus hansoni were most abundant, and the majority were found in the upper 140 m of the water column, with greatest densities in the top 2m. During both seasons most species showed some evidence of diurnal vertical migration. A distinct pattern was found for C. gunnari in summer; they were at 0–20 m during the day and 60–100 m at midnight. Net avoidance by the larvae of most species was greater before sunset in early spring, and during all periods of daylight in summer, than at other times of day.


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Authors: North, A.W., Murray, A.W.A.

1 December, 1992
Antarctic Science / 4
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