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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 119:63-76 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps119063

Distribution patterns, abundance and population dynamics of the euphausiids Nyctiphanes simplex and Euphausia eximia off the west coast of Baja California, Mexico

Gómez, J. G.

Distribution patterns and population structure of the euphausiids Nyctiphanes simplex and Euphausia eximia were examined in the California Current off the west coast of Baja California, Mexico, with emphasis on the southern part near Bahia Magdalena, in relation to temperature, zooplankton biomass, distance from the coast as a function of depth, and interannual variability. The data were collected in 6 surveys from May 1986 to October 1987. High densities of N. simplex were found in the shallow coastal waters (<300 m). For E. eximia, the maximum abundance occurred offshore at stations with depths of 200 to 3000 m. These distribution patterns (offshore-inshore) remained relatively constant throughout the surveys, but the latitudinal distributions showed important variations in relation to the current patterns of the region and seasonal differences in the upwelling events, particularly near Bahia Magdalena (24 to 25* N). Both species displayed continuous breeding, with 25 to 77% of the adult female N. simplex in different fertilized stages. A slightly lower proportion of E. eximia females were reproductively active (37 to 48%). The breeding areas, indicated by early stages (calyptopes) and adults in the reproductive phase, showed that N. simplex is dependent on the upwelling system along Baja California. High densities are maintained during spring and summer, then decrease during autumn as the physical environment changes. The population dynamics of E. eximia indicated breeding areas offshore with a continuous recruitment. Breeding areas were found in regions of relatively low biological production. Maximum abundance occurred during autumn.

Nyctiphanes simplex . Euphausia eximia . Population dynamics . Baja California

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