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SEASONAL ABUNDANCE, COMPOSITION, AND PRODUCTIVITY OF THE LITTORAL FISH ASSEMBLAGE IN UPPER NEWPORT BAY, CALIFORNIA

SEASONAL ABUNDANCE, COMPOSITION, AND PRODUCTIVITY OF THE LITTORAL FISH ASSEMBLAGE IN UPPER NEWPORT BAY, CALIFORNIA,LARRY G. ALLEN

SEASONAL ABUNDANCE, COMPOSITION, AND PRODUCTIVITY OF THE LITTORAL FISH ASSEMBLAGE IN UPPER NEWPORT BAY, CALIFORNIA   (Citations: 36)
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This study was designed to characterize the littoral fish populations by 1)composition and principal species, 2) diversity and seasonal dynamics, 3) productivity, and 4) importantenvironmental factors. Monthly samples (January 1978 to January 1979) obtained with four quantitative sampling methods at three stations in upper Newport Bay yielded 55,561 fishes from 32 species which weighed 103.5 kg. The top five species made up over 98% of the total number of individuals. One species, Athe,"inops affini.~, predominated in numbers (76.7% of all fishes) and biomass (79.8%). This dominance was refleeted in the low overall H' diversity values for numbers (HN= 0.89) and bio­ mass (HB= 0.84). Number of species, number of individuals, and biomass were greatest during the spring and summer. Quantitative clustering of species based on individual samples revealed five speciesgroups which reflected both microhabitat and seasonal differences in the littoral ichthyofauna. Species Group 1 was made up of five resident species-A. affinis, Fundulus parvipinnis, Clevelandiaios, Gillichthys mirabilis, and Gambu.~ia affinis. Species Groups II-VI were composed of summer and winter periodics and rare species. The mean annual production (9.35 g dry weight/m 2 determined by the Ricker production model) of the littoral zone fishes was amongthe highestof reported values for comparable studies. This high annual production was mainly the result of the rapid growth of large numbers of juveniles that utilized the littoral zone as a nursery ground. Young-of-the-year Atherinopsaffinis contributed 85% of this total production. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that temperature and salinity together may influence littoral fish abundance. These two abiotic factors accounted for 83% of the variation in the abun­ dances of individual species. Emigration from the littoral zone, therefore, seems to be cued by seasonal fluctuations in temperature and salinity. I propose that this offshore movement forms an important energy link between the highly produetive littoral zone and local, nearshore marine environment.
Published in 1982.
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