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Santa Cruz, CA, United States

Stewart J.S.,Stanford University | Gilly W.F.,Stanford University | Field J.C.,SWFSC NMFS NOAA | Payne J.C.,Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography | Year: 2013

Jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) have greatly extended their range in the California Current System, where they forage on a variety of ecologically and economically important species that inhabit both coastal and offshore mesopelagic regions. Swimming abilities and behavior are important factors in assessing the impacts of this range expansion, particularly in regard to foraging in conjunction with onshore-offshore movement over the continental shelf. Here we describe a study of horizontal movements by jumbo squid along and across the continental shelf off Washington, USA, using acoustic tags in association with the Census of Marine Life's Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking Program (POST) receiver arrays. We detected frequent movements along the shelf break, movement onto the shelf at night, and no evidence of movement as a cohesive school. Our results demonstrate feasibility of using acoustic tags and arrays to document horizontal movements of jumbo squid along and across the continental shelf. This is important in order to determine how those movements overlap with those of other ecologically and commercially important fish species. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Stewart J.S.,Stanford University | Field J.C.,SWFSC NMFS NOAA | Markaida U.,Colegio de Mexico | Gilly W.F.,Stanford University
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography | Year: 2013

Habitat utilization, behavior and food habits of the jumbo or Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas, were compared between an area recently inhabited in the northern California Current System (CCS) and a historically established area of residence in the Gulf of California (GOC). Low dissolved oxygen concentrations at midwater depths define the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), an important environmental feature in both areas. We analyzed vertical diving behavior and diet of D. gigas and hydrographic properties of the water column to ascertain the extent to which squid utilized the OMZ in the two areas. The upper boundary of the OMZ has been shoaling in recent decades in the CCS, and this phenomenon has been proposed to vertically compress the pelagic environment inhabited by aerobic predators. A shoaling OMZ will also bring mesopelagic communities into a depth range with more illumination during daytime, making these organisms more vulnerable to predation by visual predators (i.e. jumbo squid). Because the OMZ in the GOC is considerably shallower than in the CCS, our study provides insight into the behavioral plasticity of jumbo squid and how they may respond to a shoaling OMZ in the CCS. We propose that shoaling OMZs are likely to be favorable to jumbo squid and could be a key indirect factor behind the recent range expansion of this highly migratory predator. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Field J.C.,SWFSC NMFS NOAA | Elliger C.,Stanford University | Baltz K.,SWFSC NMFS NOAA | Gillespie G.E.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | And 6 more authors.
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography | Year: 2013

From 2002 to 2010, the jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) has been regularly encountered in large numbers throughout the California Current System (CCS). This species, usually found in subtropical waters, could affect coastal pelagic ecosystems and fisheries as both predator and prey. Neither the abundance of jumbo squid nor the optimal ocean conditions in which they flourish are well known. To understand better the potential impacts of this species on both commercial fisheries and on food-web structure we collected nearly 900 specimens from waters of the CCS, covering over 20° of latitude, over a range of depths and seasons. We used demographic information (size, sex, and maturity state) and analyzed stomach contents using morphological and molecular methods to best understand the foraging ecology of this species in different habitats of the CCS. Squid were found to consume a broad array of prey. Prey in offshore waters generally reflected the forage base reported in previous studies (mainly mesopelagic fishes and squids), whereas in more coastal waters (shelf, shelf break and slope habitats) squid foraged on a much broader mix that included substantial numbers of coastal pelagic fishes (Pacific herring and northern anchovy, as well as osmerids and salmonids in northern waters) and groundfish (Pacific hake, several species of rockfish and flatfish). We propose a seasonal movement pattern, based on size and maturity distributions along with qualitative patterns of presence or absence, and discuss the relevance of both the movement and distribution of jumbo squid over space and time. We find that jumbo squid are a generalist predator, which feeds primarily on small, pelagic or mesopelagic micronekton but also on larger fishes when they are available. We also conclude that interactions with and potential impacts on ecosystems likely vary over space and time, in response to both seasonal movement patterns and highly variable year-to-year abundance of the squid themselves. © 2012.

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