A persistent semidiurnal internal tidal bore feature occurs at the head of the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon and drives regular intrusions of cold, subthermocline waters onto the adjacent shelf. In this study, we examine the influence of this internal tidal bore feature on the larval fish community using over a year of periodic larval fish samples collected coincidently with physical measurements. Larval samples were categorized into one of two water mass periods: a “warm period” representative of shallow coastal shelf waters and a “cold period” characteristics of colder waters present during internal bore forcing. Using multivariate statistical methods, we show warm and cold periods, along with seasonality, are the primary drivers of larval fish community composition. A significantly different community composition was observed between warm and cold water mass periods. This difference was primarily due to decreased abundance in most taxa during the cold periods, and did not indicate an obvious shift in the assemblage of the taxa. However, our data do indicate that some taxa may show higher abundance during cold periods compared to warm periods, but further studies are warranted. Along with seasonality, the presence/absence of subthermocline waters driven by internal bores appears to be a key control on nearshore larval fish community composition at this location.



Number of Pages


Included in

Physics Commons



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/phy_fac/546