Zoological Studies

Vol. 50 No. 4, 2011

Comparison of Distribution Patterns of Larval Fish Assemblages in the Taiwan Strait between the Northeasterly and Southwesterly Monsoons

Hung-Yen Hsieh1, Wen-Tseng Lo2,*, Long-Jing Wu1, Dong-Chung Liu3, and Wei-Cheng Su3

1Coastal and Offshore Resources Research Center, Fisheries Research Institute of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Kaohsiung 806, Taiwan
2Institute of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan
3Fisheries Research Institute of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Keelung 202, Taiwan

Hung-Yen Hsieh, Wen-Tseng Lo, Long-Jing Wu, Dong-Chung Liu, and Wei-Cheng Su (2011) The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between spatial patterns of larval fish assemblages and local hydrographic features during 2 distinct monsoon seasons (the northeasterly monsoon in winter vs. the southwesterly monsoon in summer) in the Taiwan Strait. In total, 234 taxa of larval fishes, belonging to 126 genera and 81 families, were identified. Families with higher numbers of species were the Myctophidae, Carangidae, Gobiidae, and Scombridae. Seasonal and spatial variations in larval fish assemblages were significant. Some species only occurred in a specific season with a peak abundance in some areas, for example, Bleekeria mitsukurii, Benthosema pterotum, Trichiurus lepturus, Scomber sp. 2, and Scomber sp. 1 dominated in winter, while Encrasicholina punctifer, Auxis sp., Gunnellichthys sp., Selar crumenophthalmus, and Engraulis japonicus were abundant in summer. The distribution pattern of larval fish assemblages was closely linked to the dynamic nature of the water currents in the study region, and high abundances of larval fish were generally restricted to a topographic upwelling area and well-matched with the abundances of phyto- and zooplankton. Food availability; therefore, may be an important factor affecting the distribution of larval fish assemblages in the Taiwan Strait. Intrusions of prevailing currents driven by seasonal monsoons may also transport different larval fish species, such as Sigmops gracilis and Vinciguerria nimbaria, from waters east of Taiwan into the Taiwan Strait.

Key words: Larval fish composition, Monsoon, Water mass, Taiwan Strait.

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-7-5252000 ext. 5050. Fax: 886-7-5255020. E-mail:lowen@mail.nsysu.edu.tw