Paper: ‘The deep sea recruitment of Aristeus antennatus’

‘The deep sea recruitment of Aristeus antennatus (Risso, 1816) (Crustacea: Decapoda) in the Mediterranean Sea’

By: Francesc Sarda, Joan B. Company (Instituto de Ciencias del Mar). 

Published in the ‘Journal of Marine Systems’. 

Recruitment of Aristeus antennatus over the species’ entire depth range and distribution area in the Mediterranean Sea is described. Because of the dearth of information on recruitment of deep-sea species in the literature, the findings reported here take on special significance. Samples were collected at depths between 900 and 2800m on seven trawl surveys using three samplers: an OTMS trawl, an Agassiz bottom frame trawl, and a Macer-Giroq suprabenthic sledge, computing a total of 80, 26 and 14 trawls respectively. Early juveniles (smaller than or equal to 15mm CL) were observed to be present down to a depth of 2800m and to attain maximum percentage abundance between 1350 and 2000m. Spring was the season of peak abundance for juveniles. Several hypotheses explaining this deep-sea recruitment are discussed, including oceangraphic events coupled with enrichment of the bathyal bottoms and competitive exclusion in deep-sea species. Studying the deep-sea recruitment of A. antennatus contributes to our understanding of the species’ life history and supplies knowledge essential to proper management and sustainable exploitation of the species.

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