Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4464
Title: Beta diversity of demersal fish assemblages in the north-eastern Pacific: interactions of latitude and depth
Author: Marti J. Anderson, N. Tolimieri, R. B. Millar
Publication Year: 2011
Journal: PLoS ONE
Keywords: beta-diversity,Groundfish

 Knowledge of broad-scale global patterns in beta diversity (i.e., variation or turnover in identities of species) for marine systems is in its infancy. We analysed the beta diversity of groundfish communities in the north-eastern Pacific, from trawl data spanning 32.57°N to 48.52°N and 51 m to 1341 m depth. Analyses were based on both the Jaccard measure and the probabilistic Raup-Crick measure, which accounts for variation in alpha diversity. Overall, beta diversity decreased with depth, and this effect was strongest at lower latitudes. Superimposed on this trend were peaks in beta diversity at around 400-600m and also around 1000-1200m, which may indicate high turnover around the edges of the oxygen minimum zone. Beta diversity was also observed to decrease with latitude, but this effect was only observed in shallower waters (< 200 m); latitudinal turnover began to disappear at depths > 800 m. At shallower depths (< 200 m), peaks in latitudinal turnover were observed at ~ 43°N, 39°N, 35°N and 31°N, which corresponded well with several classically observed oceanographic boundaries. Turnover with depth was stronger than latitudinal turnover, and is likely to reflect strong environmental filtering over relatively short distances. Patterns in beta diversity, including latitude-by-depth interactions, should be integrated with other biodiversity measures in ecosystem-based management and conservation of groundfish communities.