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Volume 42 - Number 2 - 2007

Physico-chemical characterization of the benthic system in the south area of the San Jorge Gulf, Argentina

Mónica Fernández1, Daniel Cucchi Colleoni1, Ana Roux1, Ángel Marcos2 y Elba Fernández2


1 Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP) Paseo Victoria Ocampo 1, B7602HSA, Mar del Plata, Argentina
2 Universidad Nacional del Sur, Departamento de Geología San Juan 670, 8000, Bahía Blanca, Argentina


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Surficial sediments and bottom water physico-chemical characteristics of the SanJorgeGulf are presented corresponding to the main concentration area of the shrimp Pleoticus muelleri (Bate, 1888) which sustents the fishery of the patagonic littoral.
Data were obtained during the research cruise (OB-05/03) on board the RV Capitán Oca Balda of the INIDEP, during June 2003. Environmental variables such as temperature, salinity, density, oxygen and bottom water chlorophyll a content and granulometric fractions, total organic matter, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, total phosphorous, chlorophyll a and phaeopigments in sediment concentration as well as depth were analysed. The origin and nutritional value of the deposited organic matter were also assessed.
Cluster analysis was applied for the numeric treatment of the data. Spatial distribution of the variables defined two sectors in the south area of the San Jorge Gulf, corresponding to the Depositional Environment (low hydrographic conditions, fine granulometric fractions and high concentration of organic material in sediments) and the Transitional Environment (intermediate hydrodynamic conditions, medium granulometric fractions and moderate organic material concentration in sediments), both previously described by Fernández et al. (2003, 2005, 2006).
This research pretends a physico-chemical characterization of the environment where the highest concentrations of the fishery resource are located. This will allow a posterior analysis related to the distribution patterns and abundance of the shrimp in the south sector of the San Jorge Gulf, due to the relationship noticed among the abundance index of the species and some of the oceanographic and sediment variables 

Key words: Benthic environment, sediments, bottom water, shrimp fishery, Patagonia



1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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