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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 174:13-25 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/meps174013

Demersal fish assemblages of the Gulf of Salamanca, Colombia (southern Caribbean Sea)

Camilo B. García*, Luis Orlando Duarte, Dominique von Schiller

Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, INVEMAR, A.A. 1016, Santa Marta, Colombia

ABSTRACT: The structure of the demersal fish assemblages of the Gulf of Salamanca, Colombian Caribbean Sea, was studied based on 4 trawl surveys carried out in December 1995, April and August 1996, and February 1997. Multivariate analysis revealed the presence of 2 distinct assemblages, one belonging to the continental shelf (<50 m depth) and the other belonging to the upper slope (>50 m depth). The continental shelf assemblage showed significantly more biomass per tow but not more individuals or species. It is typified by species of interest for the artisanal fishery, like Lutjanus analis and Calamus penna. Lutjanus synagris, however, also of interest for the fishery, typifies the upper slope assemblage. No temporal change was detected in the assemblage structure, at least for the sampling dates in this study, but many species in the assemblages were scarce and rare, indicating high spatial and temporal patchiness. The assemblages found do not fully adjust to existing zonation schemes or assemblages defined in neighboring areas, probably due to the effect of the spatial scale of the studies and the width of the shelf in the Gulf of Salamanca.

KEY WORDS: Demersal fish assemblages · Southern Caribbean Sea · Colombia

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