Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal

Eva Egelyng Sigsgaard

Vertical zonation and functional diversity of fish assemblages revealed by ROV videos at oil platforms in The Gulf

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An assessment of vertical distribution, diel migration, taxonomic and functional diversity of fshes was
carried out at offshore platforms in The (Arabian–Iranian–Persian) Gulf. Video footage was recorded
at the Al Shaheen oil feld between 2007 and 2014 using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). A total
of 12 822 individual fshes, from 83 taxonomic groups were recorded around the platforms. All the
species identifed are considered native to The Gulf, although Cyclichthys orbicularis and Lutjanus
indicus were recorded for the frst time in Qatari waters. Several trends were uncovered in the vertical
distribution of the fsh community; most species were observed between 20 and 50 m depth and fsh
abundance decreased towards the bottom, with the highest abundances recorded in the upper layers,
i.e. down to 40 m depth. Vertical variation in fsh diversity, however, was generally not accompanied
by differences in vertical movements. Carnivores and invertivores were the dominant trophic groups,
being found at each depth range from surface to seabed. The functional indices showed no signifcant
differences between water depths or diel cycles. The study demonstrates that oil platforms represent a
hotspot of fsh diversity and interesting sites for studying fsh communities, abundance and behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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