Comparative distribution and habitat preferences of two species of stichaeoid fishes in Yaquina Bay, Oregon
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 591: 77-87
The intertidal distribution of 2 spp. of estuarine stichaeoid fishes, Anoplarchus purpurescens purpurescens (Gill) and Pholis ornata (Girard), was assessed in order to determine the extent of partitioning of microhabitat. P. ornata was abundant in rocky intertidal areas and in seasonal plant cover of mudflats; A. purpurescens was restricted to rocky substrata. Differences in relative abundance were observed at different sites in the estuary. While A. purpurescens predominated at the mouth of the estuary closest to oceanic influence, P. ornata was the only species found at upper bay sites closest to freshwater influence. Two seasonal patterns in the distribution and abundance of P. ornata were also recorded: intertidal vertical range decreased in the summer months, and density increased in late winter-early spring with the onset of post larval settling in rocky intertidal areas.