Benthic invertebrates that form habitat on deep banks off southern California, with special reference to deep sea coral

Tissot, Brian N. and Yoklavich, Mary M. and Love, Milton S. and York, Keri and Amend, Mark (2006) Benthic invertebrates that form habitat on deep banks off southern California, with special reference to deep sea coral. Fishery Bulletin, 104(2), pp. 167-181.

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Abstract

There is increasing interest in the potential impacts that fishing activities have on megafaunal benthic invertebrates occurring in continental shelf and slope ecosystems. We examined how the structure, size, and high-density aggregations of invertebrates provided structural relief for fishes in continental shelf and slope ecosystems off southern California. We made 112 dives in a submersible at 32−320 m water depth, surveying a variety of habitats from high-relief rock to flat sand and mud. Using quantitative video transect methods, we made 12,360 observations of 15 structure-form-ing invertebrate taxa and 521,898 individuals. We estimated size and incidence of epizoic animals on 9105 sponges, black corals, and gorgonians. Size variation among structure-form-ing invertebrates was significant and 90% of the individuals were <0.5 m high. Less than 1% of the observations of organisms actually sheltering in or located on invertebrates involved fishes. From the analysis of spatial associations between fishes and large invertebrates, six of 108 fish species were found more often adjacent to invertebrate colonies than the number of fish predicted by the fish-density data from transects. This finding indicates that there may be spatial associations that do not necessarily include physical contact with the sponges and corals. However, the median distances between these six fish species and the invertebrates were not particularly small (1.0−5.5 m). Thus, it is likely that these fishes and invertebrates are present together in the same habitats but that there is not necessarily a functional relationship between these groups of organisms. Regardless of their associations with fishes, these invertebrates provide structure and diversity for continental shelf ecosystems off southern California and certainly deserve the attention of scientists undertaking future conservation efforts.

Item Type: Article
Title: Benthic invertebrates that form habitat on deep banks off southern California, with special reference to deep sea coral
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Tissot, Brian N.
Yoklavich, Mary M.
Love, Milton S.
York, Keri
Amend, Mark
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 104
Number: 2
Page Range: pp. 167-181
Date: 2006
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 8988
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 18:38
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012 18:38
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/8988

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