The data on the composition and abundance of nekton species and their interannual variations within the upper epipelagic layer (0–50 m) in the Aleutian and Commander basins in the western Bering Sea that are considered in the article were collected during complex surveys that were conducted by the Pacific Research Fisheries Center in September and October of 2002–2013. The core species structures of the nekton communities in these two areas were similar: the chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta and the boreopacific gonate squid Boreoteuthis borealis were the most abundant species. Simpson’s dominance index varied synchronously in both areas, with higher values in the Aleutian Basin, until 2009. In the subsequent years, the values of the index for the studied areas became equal and varied asynchronously. An analysis of abundance showed that two types of species structure most often prevailed (with the dominance of either chum salmon or squid); in some years the species structure differed from that in other years. Species of the low-boreal and low-boreal-subtropical complexes were more abundant in the Commander Basin, reaching particularly high proportions in 2006, 2008, and 2012. Certain species showed similarity in the year-to-year dynamics of their abundance; however, these coincidences were frequently accidental. After the climate regime shift in 2006–2007, the total biomass of nekton in the Aleutian Basin decreased from 3241 to 1736 kg/km2 (46%); in the Komandorskiye Basin it decreased from 2459 to 1976 kg/km2 (20%).
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2016
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