Using an autonomous free-fall vehicle (AU-DOS), observations were made of demersal fish attracted to baits and baited acoustic transmitters at two stations in the North Atlantic Ocean. A comparison was made between Station PAP (48-degrees 50'N; 16-degrees 30'W), 4800 m deep on the Porcupine Abyssal Plain which is relatively eutrophic, and Station MAP (31-degrees-N; 20-degrees-W), 4900 m deep on the Madeira Abyssal Plain, which is oligotrophic. Experiments were conducted during summer, in 1989 and 1990, Four species of fish were observed at Station MAP, the grenadier, Coryphaenoides (Nematonurus) armatus, the eel, Synaphobranchus bathybius, and the ophidiids Spectrunculus grandis, and Barathrites sp. At Station PAP, C. (N.) armatus and H. (S.) bathybius were attracted to bait on all deployments and only two other individuals of different species, probably ophidiids, were seen. The mean first grenadier arrival time was 30 and 138 min at Stations PAP and MAP, respectively. Mean first eel arrival time was 29 and 151 min at Stations PAP and MAP, respectively. Estimated population densities of fish were 167 grenadiers km-2 and 180 synaphobranchid eels km-2 at Station PAP and 8 grenadiers km-2 and 7 eels km-2 at Station MAP. Only the grenadier C. (N.) armatus definitely ingested transmitters, and this species dominated fish activity around the baits. Mean time of departure of grenadiers with transmitters in their stomachs across an acoustic horizon at 1000 m range was 371 and 488 min at Stations PAP and MAP, respectively. Grenadiers had a longer mean staying time at the food source at the more oligotrophic Station MAP (364 min) than at Station PAP (141 min). This corresponds with predictions of optimal foraging theory.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1992|
- NECROPHAGOUS AMPHIPODS