|Title||Mesopelagic fish biomass in the southern California current ecosystem|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Davison P, Lara-Lopez A, J. Koslow A|
|Journal||Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography|
Mesopelagic fishes are the most common vertebrates on Earth, forming an important link between lower trophic levels and higher predators, and also between surface production and the deep sea. The biomass of these fishes is a key parameter for ecological modeling of oceanic ecosystems, but it is poorly known. The two most common methods to estimate the biomass of these fishes, acoustic and trawl surveys, are both sensitive to the ability of fishes to avoid nets. We show that size-dependent changes in trawl capture efficiency can affect acoustic estimates of biomass estimates 5-fold. We used both acoustic and trawl-based methods (informed by morphological data and acoustic modeling of individual backscattering) to estimate the biomass of mesopelagic fishes of southern California to be 25-37 g m(-2) of ocean surface, a comparable density to that of inshore epipelagic zooplanktivorous fishes. Our results indicate that mesopelagic fishes are likely to play a major role in regional food webs. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.