Diel variation in vertical distribution of an offshore ichthyoplankton community off the Oregon coast


Auth, Toby D., Richard D. Brodeur, and Kathleen M. Fisher
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We examined the diel vertical distribution, concentration, and community structure of ichthyoplankton from a single station 69 km off the central Oregon coast in the northeast Pacific Ocean. The 74 depth-stratified samples yielded 1571 fish larvae from 20 taxa, representing 11 families, and 128 fish eggs from 11 taxa within nine families. Dominant larval taxa were Sebastes spp. (rockfishes), Stenobrachius leucopsarus (northern lampfish), Tarletonbeania crenularis (blue lanternfish), and Lyopsetta exilis (slender sole), and the dominant egg taxa were Sardinops sagax (Pacific sardine), Icichthys lockingtoni (medusafish), and Chauliodus macouni (Pacific viperfish). Larval concentrations generally increased from the surface to 50 m, then decreased with depth. Larval concentrations were higher at night than during the day, and there was evidence of larval diel vertical migration. Depth stratum was the most important factor explaining variability in larval and egg concentrations.