Intertidal ichthyofauna of the Spanish Atlantic coast
M. Ibáñez, I. Miguel, M.D. San Millán and M.I. Ripa

The intertidal ichthyofauna of the Spanish Atlantic coast is composed of a few species that we can consider as residents, although it is sometimes difficult to define the concept of intertidal fauna in fishes due to the fact that most species live also in the subtidal. For this reason, "resident" ichthyofauna sensu GIBSON(1982) has been accepted here. By means of an accumulative treatment of the data, considering each intertidal pool as a subsample, and using a similar methodology to the one employed in the determination of the minimal area of sampling, we have established the "minimum" number of specimens representing the community structure of the intertidal ichthyofauna. The sampling was carried out on the Basque coast, Cantabrian, Asturian and Galician coasts (North Spain) and in the Canary Islands. A total of 4684 specimens were collected belonging to 31 different species and 12 families of fish. A low affinity between the Canary Is. and the North of the Iberian Peninsula was observed, using a variant of Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. The data from the 4 areas in the North of Spain reveal a low affinity between the Galician and Basque coasts. From the percentages of some southern (Blennius sanguinolentus, B. incognitus and B. pilicornis) and northern species (Ciliata rnustela, Enoprhys bubalis and Liparis rnontagui) we can observe a clear segregation between the Basque coast (with more southerly components) and the rest of the Cantabrian littoral. There is a biogeographic gradient in the faunistic composition of the intertidal ichthyofauna, although in some cases the degree of wave exposure (as is the case of the Family Gobiidae) or the internal structure of the rocky pools (as in the Family Gobiesocidae) prove more significant. Some segregation between the families of northern tendency (such as Gadidae, Cottidae and Liparidae) and the ones with a southerly tendency (such as Blenniidae) has been detected in the North of the Iberian Peninsula and allows us to characterize the intertidal fish communities; the principal parameters that control their structure are: 1) the geographic position of the sampling area; 2) the degree of wave exposure; 3) the structure and other characteristics of the rocky pools.

Keywords: intertidal, fishes, rocky pools, Atlantic.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 53(2-3) : 451-455 Back PDF
Please, send comments to
ICM (CSIC) - Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49. E-08003 Barcelona (Spain)