Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3887.2.4

The deepwater demersal ichthyofauna of the western Coral Sea

PETER R. LAST, JOHN J. POGONOSKI, DANIEL C. GLEDHILL, WILLIAM T. WHITE, CHRIS J. WALKER

Abstract


The highly diverse deepwater demersal ichthyofauna of the western Coral Sea was first systematically surveyed in two exploratory voyages in 1985 and 1986, and these fish assemblages have not been investigated at the same level since. Only recently have catch data and specimens, obtained from these first voyages almost 3 decades ago, been rigorously investigated and analysed. Some 393 species of fishes from 125 families were collected during the 1985 voyage which surveyed the northeastern Australian continental margin, and the Saumarez and Queensland Plateaus. A checklist of the species caught is provided. Levels of endemicity of deepwater fishes in the western Coral Sea are very high with about 50% of well-studied groups, such as sharks and rays, confined to this relatively small geographic region. A very high proportion of species caught during this voyage were either undescribed (78 species or 20%) or new Australian records (96 species or 24%) at the time of the survey. Another 68 species (17%) are the subject of further taxonomic investigation or are currently undergoing formal description. The fauna exhibits some intraregional differences in structure. Biogeographically informative fishes such as skates appear to be cryptically partitioned within the region, differing in composition to other Australian regions and those of French territories to the east. Strong depth-related partitioning of the fauna is also evident, and its structure follows zonation patterns observed across the wider Australian region. Given the high level of micro-endemicity and regional uniqueness of the fauna, there is a compelling argument for the existence of a faunal gyre in the Coral Sea.  New gap-filling surveys are needed to better define the structure of this fauna and determine its distribution.


Keywords


deepwater fishes, biogeography, biodiversity, Coral Sea, southwestern Pacific

Full Text:

PDF/A (2.97 MB)

References


Bray, J.R. & Curtis, J.T. (1957) An ordination of the upland forest communities of Southern Wisconsin. Ecological Monographs, 27, 325–349.

Ceccarelli, D.M., McKinnon, A.D., Andrefouet, S., Allain, V., Young. J., Gledhill. D.C., Flynn, A., Bax, N.J., Beaman, R., Borsa, P., Brinkman, R., Bustamante, R.H., Campbell, R., Cappo, M., Cravatte, S., D'Agata, S., Dichmont, C.M., Dunstan, P.K., Dupouy, C. & Edgar, G. (2013) The Coral Sea. Physical environment, ecosystem status and biodiversity assets. Advances in Marine Biology, 66, 213–290.

Clarke, K.R. (1993) Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Australian Journal of Ecology, 18, 117–143.

Clarke, K.R. & Gorley, R.N. (2006) PRIMER v6 User Manual/Tutorial. Primer-E Ltd, Plymouth, UK, 12 pp.

Clarke, K.R. & Warwick, R.M. (2001) Changes in Marine Communities: an approach to statistical analyses and interpretation. 2nd Edition. Primer-E Ltd, Plymouth, 144 pp. [UK]

Department of the Environment and Heritage (2006) A Guide to The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia. Version 4. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government, Hobart TAS, 16 pp.

Eschmeyer, W.N. (Ed.) (2014) Catalog of Fishes. Available from: http://research.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp (accessed 2 July 2013)

Grandperrin, R., Bujan, S., Menou, J.-L., Richer de Forges, B. & Rivaton, J. (1995) Campagne HALIPRO 1 de chalutages exploratoires dans l’est et dans le sud de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (N.O. Alis 18-25 mars et 29 mars-1er avril 1994). Conventions – Sciences de la mer – Biologie marine. Nouméa – ORSTOM, 14, 61 pp.

Grandperrin, R., Farman, R., Lorance, P., Jomessy, T., Hamel, P., Laboute, P., Labrosse, P., Richer de Forges, B., Séret, B. & Virly, S. (1997) Campagne HALIPRO 2 de chalutages profonds dans le sud de la zone économique de Nouvelle-Calédonie (R/V Tangaroa, 4-28 novembre 1996). ZoNéCo, Septembre 1997, 150 pp.

Harold, A.S. (1989) A new species of Polyipnus (Stomiiformes: Sternoptychidae) from the Coral Sea, with a revised key to the species of the P. spinosus complex. Copeia, 1989 (4), 871–876.

Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. (2006) Fishes. In: Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (Eds.), Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Parts 1–3. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia, pp. 1–2178.

IMCRA (1998) Interim Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia: an ecosystem classification for marine and coastal environments. Version 3.3. IMCRA Technical Group – Environment Australia for the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, Canberra.

Kramer, S.H., Kramer, S.H. & Newman, S.J. (1994) New deep-water fish records from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Pacific Science, 48 (1), 70–79.

Last, P., Lyne, V., Yearsley, G., Gledhill, D., Gomon, M., Rees, T. & White, W. (2005) Validation of the national demersal fish datasets for the regionalisation of the Australian continental slope and outer shelf (>40 m depth). A report to the National Oceans Office. Department of Environment and Heritage and CSIRO Marine Research, Australia, 99 pp.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. (1994) Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Hobart, 513 pp.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. (2009) Sharks and Rays of Australia. 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 644 pp.

Last, P.R., White, W.T., Gledhill, D.C., Pogonoski, J.J., Lyne, V. & Bax, N.J. (2011) Biogeographic structure and affinities of the marine demersal ichthyofauna of Australia. Journal of Biogeography, 38, 1484–1496

Paxton, J.R., Hoese, D.F., Allen, G.R. & Hanley, J.E. (1989) Zoological catalogue of Australia. Vol. 7. Pisces. Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 665 pp.

Rees, A.J.J., Yearsley, G.K., Gowlett-Holmes, K. & Pogonoski, J. (2013) Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota (on-line version). Available from: http://www.cmar.csiro.au/caab/ (accessed 1 August 2013)

Séret, B. (1997) Poissons de profondeur de Nouvelle-Calédonie: apports des campagnes MUSORSTOM. Deepwater fishes of New-Caledonia: contributions of the MUSORSTOM cruises. In: Séret, B. (Ed.), Résultatsdes campagnes MUSORSTOM. Vol. 17. Mémoires du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, 174, 9–16.

Tizard, T.H., Moseley, H.N., Buchanan, J.Y. & Murray, J. (1885) Narrative of the Cruise of H.M.S. Challenger with a general account of the scientific results of the expedition. 1107 + 57 pp.

White, W.T., Last, P.R., Stevens, J.D., Yearsley, G.K., Fahmi & Dharmadi (2006) Economically Important Sharks and Rays of Indonesia. ACIAR Publishing, Canberra, 329 pp.

Williams, A., Last, P.R., Gomon, M.F. & Paxton, J.R. (1996) Species composition and checklist of the demersal ichthyofauna of the continental slope off Western Australia (20-35ºS). Records of the Western Australian Museum, 18, 135–155.

Williams, A., Koslow, J.A. & Last, P.R. (2001) Diversity, density and community structure of the demersal fish fauna of the continental slope off western Australia (20 to 35ºS). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 212, 247–263.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


 
ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa