Influence of the oceanographic dynamic in size distribution of cephalopod paralarvae in the southern Mexican Pacific Ocean (rainy seasons 2007 and 2008)
The southern Mexican Pacific Ocean presents seasonal changes related to the rainy season and Tehuano winds, which generate mesoscale processes affecting biological productivity and marine biodiversity. Size distributions of squid paralarvae collected in this region during the rainy season (July 2007 and May-June 2008) were analyzed in relation to regional oceanography. Samples were collected through oblique hauls, and CTD casts were used to determine the structure of the water column. Between surveyed periods, there were no significant changes in the water temperature at 10 m, but there were significant variations in the mixed layer depth (MLD). The number of taxa, community composition and total abundance of paralarvae were similar between periods. However, in July paralarvae ≤2.0 mm were distributed along the margins of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies associated with high temperatures. In May-June, the MLD and high concentrations of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) determined the presence of a group of oceanic paralarvae and another of coastal paralarvae, separated by an upwelling front. The percentage of recently spawned paralarvae (≤2.0) nearly doubled during this period as a result of increased coastal sampling and high concentrations of Chl-a, indicating a coupling of adult reproduction with regional productivity. In the absence of winds, the mesoscale oceanographic complexity generates gradients and a differential effect on the distribution, transport and survival of cephalopod paralarvae.