Observations on euphausiid communities of the south coast of South Africa

02 Jul 2012

A total of 24 species of euphausiid was collected during a survey along the South African south coast during January 1992. Communities over the Agulhas Bank were of low diversity and abundance and were dominated by Nycliphanes capensis. Those at the shelf-edge were of high diversity and abundance and were dominated by Euphausia recurI'll and Thysalloessa gregaria. Such high diversity may be maintained by vertical scgregation at night. Few species displayed obvious diel vertical migration, although N. capen sis may be able to maintain itself on the shelf by means of this behaviour. E. recurl'Cl appeared to feed on phytoplankton throughout the water column at night, reflecting the distribution of food.