Fish assemblages in the Southern California Current: relationships with climate, 1951–2008
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2013
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 207–219, May 2013
How to Cite
Anthony Koslow, J., Goericke, R. and Watson, W. (2013), Fish assemblages in the Southern California Current: relationships with climate, 1951–2008. Fisheries Oceanography, 22: 207–219. doi: 10.1111/fog.12018
- Issue published online: 2 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 JAN 2012
- California Coastal Conservancy
- California Current;
- community composition;
- principal component analysis
We examined the dominant patterns of variability in the fish fauna of the southern California Current based on a principal component (PC) analysis of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations ichthyoplankton data set, 1951–2008. Eighty-six taxa were analyzed, including all ecologically dominant fish species, both exploited and unexploited. The first three PCs accounted for 20.5, 12.4 and 6.8% of the variance of the data, respectively (total: 39.7%). Each was dominated by taxa from particular adult or larval habitats. PC 1 predominantly represented the coherent response of 24 mesopelagic taxa from 10 families and was most highly correlated with long-term trends in midwater oxygen levels. PC 2 was dominated by six of the seven most abundant ichthyoplankton taxa in the region, predominantly California Current endemics including key pelagic species (northern anchovy, Pacific sardine and Pacific hake), rockfishes (genus Sebastes) and two midwater taxa. It was correlated primarily with sea surface temperature and exhibited a significant declining trend. PC 3 was dominated by coastal and reef-associated fishes with predominantly southerly affinities. It was positively correlated with sea surface temperature and sea level height, a proxy for diminished flow of the California Current. The taxa dominating PCs 2 and 3 mostly spatially co-occur as ichthyoplankton. These results suggest that fish assemblages in the California Current are predominantly influenced by environmental forcing of their ocean habitats as adults or larvae, or both.