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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 130:1-17 (1996)  -  doi:10.3354/meps130001

Tidal, diel and longer term changes in the distribution of fishes on a Scottish sandy beach

Gibson RN, Robb L, Burrows MT, Ansell AD

Fishes were sampled by seine and beam trawl over tidal and diel cycles on a sandy beach on the west coast of Scotland in June and August. Species composition of the catches of the 2 gear types differed. There was a significant positive relationship between depth (0 to 5 m) and species richness but a few species were restricted to depths of <5 m. Although significantly more species and individuals were caught at night and at low tide there was no evidence for the existence of distinct 'day' and 'night' communities. Differences between catches at high and low water were caused by the movement of a few species into the intertidal zone on the rising tide. Diel differences in abundance were principally due to an inshore migration of several species of gadoids at dusk and movement offshore at dawn. Longer term changes in abundance and distribution were attributed to predation and movement into deeper water.

Fishes . Sandy beach . Diel movements . Tidal movements . Habitat partitioning

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