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Antarctic Research Series



  • Ecology—Research—Antarctica—Antarctic Peninsula Region

Index Terms

  • 4815 Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Ecosystems, structure and dynamics
  • 4817 Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Food chains
  • 4830 Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Higher marine organisms
  • 4855 Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Plankton



Midwater fish ecology

A. K. Kellermann

The midwater fish assemblage in the waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula as the LTER study area is reviewed. Spatial and temporal distribution and life-history patterns of the meso and bathypelagic fishes and of the secondarily pelagic coastal fishes are discussed on the background of life-histories and physical boundary conditions. The LTER study area belongs to the Seasonal Pack-ice Zone and is a transitional area between the High-Antarctic and the Ice-Free Zone of the southern Scotia Arch. The midwater fish assemblage is structured by ice coverage, water mass advection, circulation, water depth and ontogenetic shifts of life modes. Several midwater fish species spawn in the LTER study area. It is also the northern periphery of a spawning stock of Pleuragramma antarcticum assumed to exist in the Bellingshausen Sea. The Circumantarctic Current from the South East Pacific Basin and the Bellingshausen Sea imports High-Antarctic fish species as well as meso- and bathypelagic fishes onto the shelves. Export of early life-stages from the region occurs into the adjacent Bransfield and Gerlache Straits. Transport patterns are shaped by life-history and vertical distribution, bottom topography and hydrological features such as cyclonic gyres. Sea-ice is suggested as a principal factor governing the controlling processes for the distribution and abundance of the midwater fish assemblage.

Citation: Kellermann, A. K. (1996), Midwater fish ecology, in Foundations for Ecological Research West of the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarct. Res. Ser., vol. 70, edited by E. E. Hofmann, R. M. Ross, and L. B. Quetin, pp. 231–256, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/AR070p0231.

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