Echinoderm community in Patagonian scallop banks associated to the shelf break front in the Argentine Sea
Keywords:Echinoderms, Patagonian scallop, by-catch, fishing effort, shelf break front, Argentine Sea
In the benthic community associated to the shelf break front echinoderms represent one of the most important invertebrate groups due to their high contribution in biomass and the ecologic role they play. In this work the diversity, composition and distribution of the echinoderm community associated to patagonian scallop along the shelf break front is shown. The 164 samples analyzed, derived from scallop research cruises carried out in 2007, were collected with a 2.5 m dredge fitted with a 10 mm mesh between 37° S-44° S at 81-131 m depth. Diversity indexes were estimated and multivariate analyses used to characterize the community. Besides, two areas subject to different fishing effort were compared. Of the 23 species of echinoderms registered, Asteroidea included nine species, Echinoidea and Ophiuroidea showed five each and Holothuroidea and Crinoidea were placed with a very low representation. Although no change in the species composition was observed, contributions in biomass varied latitudinally. Ophiuroidea was one of the dominant classes in the whole study area, Asteroidea presented the highest values in the management units located between 37° S-39° S and, due to a larger presence of Sterechinus agassizii, that of Echinoidea increased southwards. The area subject to a low fishing effort presented a larger biomass and presence of echinoids and ophiuroids. Given their fragile structure, those groups would be affected by the passage of the net. The area subject to a high fishing effort was characterized by the presence of asteroids, mainly predator and detritivorous species.
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Copyright (c) 2015 Mariana Escolar, Claudia Bremec
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