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Demersal ichthyofaunal distribution in the abyssal eastern North Atlantic, With special reference to Coryphaenoides (Nematonurus) armatus(Macrouridae)

  • N. R. Merrett (a1)

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Three latitudinally separated assemblages (49°–41°N, 38°–30°N, 22°–20°N in 11°–25°W) of abyssal demersal fishes in the eastern North Atlantic have been identified from combined data from 13 new and 12 previously reported trawl samples. The northerly assemblage remained unaltered by the new data, but the intermediate one could be sub-divided into shallow (4370–4475 m) and deep (4835–5440 m) elements. This sub-division revealed that bathymetry was acting with latitude to influence previous results. The new, southerly, assemblage was found below surface waters enriched by upwelling along the continental margin. The composition of dominant species identified each assemblage. The biological characteristics of these species were largely consistent with the former hypothesis linking them to the influence of the overlying production regime. The contrast between this preliminary evidence for structured demersal fish assemblages in the abyss with its lack on the slope and rise was discussed in the terms of the respective patterns of trophic input.

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Demersal ichthyofaunal distribution in the abyssal eastern North Atlantic, With special reference to Coryphaenoides (Nematonurus) armatus(Macrouridae)

  • N. R. Merrett (a1)

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