Aspects of lanternfish distribution in the Kerguelen Plateau region
Mesopelagic fishes play a major ecological role in the Southern Ocean by partitioning energy throughout the water column during diel vertical migration. In the region, lanternfishes (Myctophidae) represent the most abundant mesopelagic fish family by species, number and biomass. There has been some intensive, localized sampling of myctophids in the Kerguelen Plateau region, but this has been geared mainly to the elucidation of larval fish biology, and to trophic studies of bird and mammal predators, and was focused in the upper 200-300 m depth stratum and mainly to the east of the Plateau. In this paper, a number of published and unpublished datasets are examined in order to clarify “regional boundaries”, and to establish the distributional characteristics and nuances of some representative convergence, subantarctic and antarctic species in the light of their proposed phylogeny. To improve this knowledge base going forward, the high costs of ship-board sampling could well be off-set by the use of modeling techniques.