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Ichthyofauna assemblages from two unexplored Atlantic seamounts: Northwest Bank and João Valente Bank (Cape Verde archipelago)
Pedro Monteiro, Daniel Ribeiro, José A. Silva, João Bispo and Jorge M.S. Gonçalves

Underwater censuses by divers were used to study the fish assemblages from two unexplored Atlantic seamounts in the Cape Verde archipelago. Fifty three species of 27 families were recorded: 27 in Northwest Bank and 46 in João Valente Bank. Northwest Bank had dense schools, while João Valente Bank had higher species richness and smaller schools. Both seamounts were dominated mainly by coastal species directly depending on seabed habitat (Demersal or benthopelagic). Of the 53 fish species recorded, 22.6% were of continental African origin, while 9.4% and 5.7% were endemic of the Cape Verde Islands and of the Macaronesia province, respectively. Most species (64.2%) had a very wide biogeographic distribution: cosmopolitan (22.6%), amphi-Atlantic (28.3%) and Atlantic-Mediterranean (13.2%). Northwest Bank and João Valente Bank may have a permanent fish community supported by various oceanographic-topographic interactions. João Valente Bank seems more diverse, which is probably associated with algae cover and with a larger area providing additional suitable and more varied habitats. The geographic proximity to the coast and the presence of oceanic and/or oceanodromous species suggests that the upper part of these seamounts may act both as attraction points and as “stepping-stones” for the dispersal of coastal species.

Keywords: seamounts, underwater surveys, biogeography, Macaronesia, Northwest Bank, João Valente Bank, Cape Verde
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 72(1) : 133-143 Back PDF
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