Fisheries Research Articles

A database of marine larval fish assemblages in Australian temperate and subtropical waters

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Biodiversity, Community ecology, Ichthyology, Marine biology


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology


Larval fishes are a useful metric of marine ecosystem state and change, as well as species-specific patterns in phenology. The high level of taxonomic expertise required to identify larval fishes to species level, and the considerable effort required to collect samples, make these data very valuable. Here we collate 3178 samples of larval fish assemblages, from 12 research projects from 1983-present, from temperate and subtropical Australian pelagic waters. This forms a benchmark for the larval fish assemblage for the region, and includes recent monitoring of larval fishes at coastal oceanographic reference stations. Comparing larval fishes among projects can be problematic due to differences in taxonomic resolution, and identifying all taxa to species is challenging, so this study reports a standard taxonomic resolution (of 218 taxa) for this region to help guide future research. This larval fish database serves as a data repository for surveys of larval fish assemblages in the region, and can contribute to analysis of climate-driven changes in the location and timing of the spawning of marine fishes.



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