Species Composition and Abundance Patterns of Grenadiers on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores
Odd Aksel Bergstad, Å. S. HØines, Alexei M. Orlov, Tomio Iwamoto, J. Galbraith, I. Byrkjedal, and F. Uiblein
Abstract.—The Mid-Atlantic Ridge of the North Atlantic is inhabited by at least 16 macrourid species in 9 genera. The species composition and distribution patterns are analysed based on bottom trawl catches in the depth range 985 to 3461m conducted on the 2004 MAR-ECO expedition between the Azores and the southern Reykjanes Ridge. Some of the species, e.g. roundnose grenadier Coryphaenoides rupestris, C. brevibarbis and abyssal grenadier C. armatus, rank among the most abundant demersal fishes on the ridge or in the deep axial valleys or fracture zones, while others are uncommon or rare. While a few species have apparently restricted northerly or southerly distributions, most are widespread. Among common species that occur along the entire ridge section investigated, there are indications of structuring by depth of occurrence.