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Abundance and Distribution of Ichthyoplankton in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, 1989-1990

Aimee A. Keller, Grace Klein-MacPhee and Jeanne St. Onge Burns
Estuaries
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1999), pp. 149-163
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1352935
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Abundance and Distribution of Ichthyoplankton in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, 1989-1990
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Abstract

An ichthyoplankton survey (18 stations in seven sampling sectors) was conducted in Narragansett Bay in 1990 to provide information on abundance, distribution, and seasonal occurrence of eggs and larvae of estuarine fishes, including seasonal migrants. An additional goal was to examine changes in species composition, abundance, and distribution occurring since the last baywide survey in 1972-73. The taxonomic composition of eggs and larvae in 1990 (41 species in 25 families from 684 plankton samples) and in 1972-73 (43 species in 28 families from 6900 samples) was similar. Maximum abundance of fish eggs occurred in June and larvae in July, minimum abundance in September to February. Species diversity was greatest in May-July and lowest during January in both surveys. However, egg and larval densities in 1990 were considerably lower than in 1972-73. Bay anchovy, tautog, and cunner accounted for 86% of the eggs and 87% of the larvae in the bay in 1990. These three species accounted for only 55% of the eggs and 51% of the larvae in 1972-73, with menhaden accounting for another 18% of the eggs and 34% of the larvae. Searobins, scup, and butterfish eggs were common in 1973 (19%) but rare in 1990 (2%). Ichthyoplankton abundance for several of the most abundant species was significantly lower (p<0.05) in the Providence River, upper bay, and Greenwich Bay in 1990 than in 1972-73. Density of fish eggs and larvae in the lower portions of the bay was lower in 1990 for some species but not others. Distribution data suggested a general down-bay shift in density in 1990.

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