Distribution of Pasiphaea japonica larvae in submarine canyons and adjacent continental slope areas in Toyama Bay, Sea of Japan
The horizontal and vertical distribution of Pasiphaea japonica larvae, which included larval stages and postlarval or later stages, were investigated in Toyama Bay located in central Japan. The horizontal distributions in the inner part of the bay were investigated by oblique hauls from 10 m above the sea-bottom to the surface using a Remodeled NORPAC net (LNP net) in May, August, November 2005, January, March, April, July, September, December 2006, March-September, November-December 2007, and January-March 2008. The vertical distributions were investigated by concurrent horizontal hauls at the depths of 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 m using a Motoda net (MTD net) in January, March, April, July, September, and December 2006. Mean density of larvae was higher in submarine canyons which dissect the continental shelf and run to the mouth of river, than adjacent continental slope areas. Larvae densely aggregated in the canyon head. Vertical distribution of the larval stages concentrated in the depth range of 100-150 m in both daytime and nighttime, and larvae in the postlarval or later stages showed diel vertical distribution over a wider depth range than larval stages. Our results indicate the possibility of a larval aggregation in energy-rich habitats, and indicated two important roles of submarine canyons, which were larval retention and high food supply.