Zoological Studies

Vol. 51 No. 5, 2012

Community Structure of Larval Fishes from the Southeastern Taiwan Strait: Linked to Seasonal Monsoon-driven Currents

Hung-Yen Hsieh1,2,3, Wen-Tseng Lo4, and Long-Jing Wu3,*

1Institute of Marine Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien 974, Taiwan
2National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Pingtung 944, Taiwan
3Coastal and Offshore Resources Research Center, Fisheries Research Institute of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Kaohsiung 806, Taiwan
4Institute of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwa

Hung-Yen Hsieh, Wen-Tseng Lo, and Long-Jing Wu (2012) This study analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of larval fish assemblages in relation to hydrographic conditions during 2 distinct monsoon seasons (Sept. 2009 vs. Apr. 2011) in the southeastern Taiwan Strait.  In total, 128 taxa of larval fishes belonging to 76 genera and 61 families were identified.  Larvae collected in the study were a combination of neritic and oceanic species.  The Clupeidae, Siganidae, Bregmacerotidae, Myctophidae, and Trichiuridae were the 5 most dominant families.  Encrasicholina heteroloba (13.7%) and Sardinops sp. (26.3%) were the most abundant taxa in Sept. and Apr., respectively.  Larval fish assemblages showed significant seasonal and spatial differences.  The distribution pattern of larval fish assemblages was closely linked to local hydrographic conditions, with high abundances in Apr. and at inshore stations.  The mechanism of spring spawning of coastal fishes and the input of rich nutrients from the southwestern coast of Taiwan may be 2 important factors affecting the distribution of larval fish assemblages in the study area.  Some oceanic larvae, such as Sigmops gracilis and Vinciguerria nimbaria, may also be carried by the penetrating Kuroshio Branch Current driven by the seasonal monsoon from waters east of Taiwan into the southeastern Taiwan Strait. 

Key words: Larval fish, Composition, Monsoon, Kuroshio, Taiwan Strait.

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-7-8218103 ext. 200.  Fax: 886-7-8218205.  E-mail:l-j.wu@mail.tfrin.gov.tw