Distribution and abundance of net-captured calycophoran siphonophores and other gelatinous zooplankton in the Sargasso Sea European eel spawning area.

Lüskow, Florian , Neitzel, Philipp, Miller, Michael J., Marohn, Lasse, Wysujack, Klaus, Freese, Marko, Pohlmann, Jan-Dag and Hanel, Reinhold (2019) Distribution and abundance of net-captured calycophoran siphonophores and other gelatinous zooplankton in the Sargasso Sea European eel spawning area. Marine Biodiversity . DOI 10.1007/s12526-019-00971-x.

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Abstract

Gelatinous zooplankton (GZ) such as medusae, ctenophores, siphonophores, pyrosomes and salps are important components of oceanic pelagic communities and small calycophoran siphonophores (CS) are typically abundant at shallow depths. The Sargasso Sea spawning area of the Atlantic catadromous freshwater eels has a regular pattern of shallow autumn to spring temperature fronts. There is limited information about the southern Sargasso Sea GZ fauna, and it is not known which species are distributed across these frontal zones. Plankton samples from a survey of larval European eel (Anguilla anguilla) abundance in March and April 2017 using an Isaacs-Kidd Midwater Trawl (0–300 m, 35 stations, three transects) were used to examine the distribution and abundance of net-captured CS and other GZ species in relation to oceanographic characteristics. More than 2200 specimens of 15 taxa were sub-sampled, with five CS (Abylopsis tetragona, A. eschscholtzii, Chelophyes appendiculata, Eudoxoides spiralis and E. mitra) dominating catches at every station. GZ were most abundant around the 22 and 24 °C isotherms, and higher abundances of CS in the north were correlated with lower water temperature. The widespread presence of CS across the European eel spawning area is consistent with a recent study detecting their DNA sequences in the gut contents of young eel larvae collected in the Sargasso Sea, suggesting CS material was either eaten directly or as part of ingested marine snow particles. The present study shows that both types of organisms occupy the southern Sargasso Sea during the European eel spawning season.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Western North Atlantic Ocean; Co-occurrence; Leptocephalus diet; Anguilla Net sampling
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s12526-019-00971-x
ISSN: 1867-1616
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 08:37
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2019 08:37
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/47131

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