Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

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Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Providence, Rhode Island, July 7-11

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As part of an ongoing study of the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge biodiversity and ecology (CoML field project MAR-ECO), a detailed survey of the pelagic and demersal fishes in the region of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone (~ 600 n.m. south of Greenland) was conducted. A total of 17181 pelagic fishes (92 spp., 35 families) were sampled from 0-3000+ m, with the Myctophidae the most species-rich. The bristlemouth Cyclothone microdon was by far the dominant species in numbers (82% of total), while the sawtooth eel Serrivomer beani dominated biomass (27%). A total of 441 deep-demersal fishes (28 spp., 13 families) were sampled from 1872-3527 m, with the Macrouridae and Alepocephalidae comprising half of species numbers. The abyssal halosaur Halosauropsis macrochir was most abundant, while the abyssal grenadier Coryphaenoides armatus contributed the most biomass. Remarkable among the pelagic fish data were routine shallow catches of bathypelagic fishes (see A.B. Cook et al., this volume), and among the demersal fishes were the large size of the individuals, above or near the maximum known for many species. The high species number relative to sample number portends the enhanced deep-sea biodiversity about abrupt topographic features, while the lack of asymptote of species number versus sampling effort underscores our incomplete inventory of this biodiversity.