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Biogeographic Relationships of a Rocky Intertidal Fish Assemblage in an Area of Cold Water Upwelling off Baja California, Mexico

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Title:Biogeographic Relationships of a Rocky Intertidal Fish Assemblage in an Area of Cold Water Upwelling off Baja California, Mexico
Authors:Stepien, Carol A.
Phillips, Hikaru
Adler, Joseph A.
Mangold, Peter J.
Date Issued:Jan 1991
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Stepien CA, Phillips H, Adler JA, Mangold PJ. 1991. Biogeographic relationships of a rocky intertidal fish assemblage in an area of cold water upwelling off Baja California, Mexico. Pac Sci 45(1): 63-71.
Abstract:The rocky intertidal fish assemblage at an area of nearshore cold
water upwelling at Punta Clara, northern Baja California, Mexico was sampled
bimonthly for 1 yr. Temperatures in this upwelling region typically range from
10° to 16°C throughout the year and are significantly lower than those of
surrounding areas in the warm-temperate Californian biogeographic province.
The assemblage at Punta Clara is a species-rich mixture composed of eight fishes
that are primarily Californian in distribution, seven that are primarily Oregonian
cold-temperate, and four that range throughout both provinces. In terms of
relative numbers, 53% of the total number of fishes are Californian, 33% are
Oregonian, and 14% belong to both provinces. In terms of biomass, 75% are
Californian, 20% are Oregonian, and 5% belong to both provinces. Two common
intertidal fishes characteristic of the Californian province (and belonging
to the largely tropical and subtropical families Blenniidae and Labrisomidae)
are absent, as are members of the Stichaeidae, which are characteristic of the
Oregonian intertidal. Populations of Oregonian fishes in these upwelling regions
off Baja California may be Pleistocene relicts maintained by cold temperatures.
Alternatively, allozyme studies of two of these species suggest considerable gene
flow between northern and Baja Californian populations that could be maintained
by larval transport in coastal currents, such as the California Current.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 45, Number 1, 1991

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