Journal Article

Spatial patterns of groundfish assemblages on the continental shelf of Portugal

Manuel C. Gomes, Ester Serrão and Maria de Fátima Borges

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 58, issue 3, pages 633-647
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jmsc.2001.1052
Spatial patterns of groundfish assemblages on the continental shelf of Portugal

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The analysis of catch data from groundfish surveys (1985–1988) conducted on the Portuguese shelf and upper slope (20–500 m) revealed five major geographic areas, each characterized by the presence of a typical fish assemblage. These areas of distinct fish assemblages were found to be closely aligned with depth, in a way that resembles spatial patterns previously described for other continental shelves in the North Atlantic. The sharpest biological transition on the Portuguese shelf takes place as one moves from areas shallower than 120 m (“Shallow Groups”) towards deeper locations offshore (“Deep Groups”). Beyond the 150 m isobath, the biomass was dominated by blue whiting, whereas inshore variability in assemblage composition was much greater. Species such as sardine, horse mackerel, mackerel (to the north of Lisbon) and sparids (to the south) comprised significant and highly variable proportions of the population abundance inshore. There are similarities between the trophic and spatial organization of the marine community on the Portuguese shelf and that of other coastal upwelling ecosystems that are briefly reviewed here.

Keywords: Portugal; groundfish distribution; continental shelf and slope; fish assemblage; spatial distribution

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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