Distribution of the Euryhaline Squid Lolliguncula brevis in Chesapeake Bay: Effects of Selected Abiotic Factors
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES DEPT OF ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOOGY
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The majority of cephalopods are thought to have limitations arising from physiology and locomotion that exclude them from shallow, highly variable, euryhaline environments. The brief squid Lolliguncula brevis may be a notable exception because it tolerates low salinities, withstands a wide range of environmental conditions, and swims readily in shallow water. A survey of L. brevis was conducted in the Virginia portion of Chesapeake Bay from 1993 to 1997 using a 9.1 m otter trawl, and the effects of selected factors on squid presence were assessed using logistic regression analysis. During spring through fall, L. brevis was collected over a wide range of bottom-water salinities 17.9 to 35.0, bottom-water temperatures 8.1 to 29.6 deg C, bottom-water dissolved oxygen levels 1.9 to 14.6 mg O2 lE-1, and depths 1.8 to 29.9 m, but it was not present in trawls conducted during winter. L. brevis, especially juveniles 60 mm dorsal mantle length DML, were abundant, frequently ranking in the upper 12 of overall annual nektonic trawl catches, and during the fall of some years, ranking second to anchovies. The probability of catching a squid increased in Chesapeake Bay at higher salinities and water temperatures, and was much greater in normoxic than in hypoxic waters these variables had a profound influence on both annual and seasonal variability in distribution. Salinity had the largest influence on squid distribution, with squid being completely absent from the bay when salinity was 17.9 and most abundant in the fall when salinity was highest despite declines in water temperature. Squid were most prevalent at depths between 10 and 15 m. The results of this study suggest that L. brevis is an important component of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem when salinities and water temperatures are within tolerance limits and that unlike other squids, L. brevis may be well-equipped for an inshore, euryhaline existence.