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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Northwestern Gulf of Mexico demersal fish communities (DFCs) identified from SEAMAP bottom trawl surveys (points) and example indicator species. Image: Melissa Monk (map), Brenda Bowling (fish photos).

Monk MH, Powers JE, Brooks EN


Spatial patterns in species assemblages associated with the northwestern Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fishery


Understanding the spatial patterns of species assemblages is important for the ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Monk and co-workers utilized the biannual Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program’s (SEAMAP) bottomfish trawl survey to explore the spatial distribution of the species assemblages along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, USA. Both hierarchical cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling revealed four distinct demersal fish communities (DFCs) from the nine shrimp statistical zones (Zones 13-21 from east to west), with Zone 13 showing a stronger affiliation to the East DFC from the fall survey. Many of the identified indicator species differed between the summer and fall surveys within a DFC, with the East and Mid DFCs having the fewest number of unique identifier species.


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