Effects of season, bottom substrate and population dynamics on fish communities in shallow subarctic northeast Atlantic waters
ish communities in the shallow waters (9–20 m depth) of outer Malangen (69o N), Northern Norway was studied to investigate effects of season, bottom substrate associations and population dynamic parameters on the fish assemblages. In four fieldtrips during one year at four locations, fish were sampled by trammel nets and bottom substrate composition was monitored by underwater video. A total of 16 species of fish were caught, including four species from Pleuronectidae and six from the Gadidae family. Cod (Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758) was the most numerous species followed by plaice (Pleuronectes platessa Linnaeus, 1758), lemon sole (Microstomus kitt Walbaum, 1792) and halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus Linnaeus, 1758). Cod dominated the catches in all months except March, in which plaice and other flatfishes were most dominant. On a community scale, fish species richness was highest in October and lowest in March. Furthermore, the species richness and diversity were generally higher at locations with greater bottom substrate evenness. Cod showed a positive association with large macroalgae coverage and were less numerous at locations dominated by sand and pebble. Plaice and common dab (Limanda limanda Linnaeus, 1758) showed positive associations with sand and pebble coverage, while lemon sole was more associated with maerl beds, cobble and low algae coverage. Only halibut younger than 8 years of age were observed, and the sampling areas are suggested to be nursery area for this species. Von Bertalanffy growth functions were estimated for cod, plaice and lemon sole, and the growth coefficient K of cod and plaice were higher than for populations from adjacent fjords or the North Sea populations. Total mortality rates of cod and plaice were lower than for areas further south, and this may contribute to high and relative stable biomasses in the shallow Malangen area.
CitationSørensen, Pedersen. Effects of season, bottom substrate and population dynamics on fish communities in shallow subarctic northeast Atlantic waters. Journal of Sea Research. 2021;178
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