This study is part of research on the Kuroshio edge exchange process (KEEP). In this study, we studied the ichthyoplankton guilds in the KEEP area and compared the results with those from upstream, I-lan Bay and downstream, the shelf of the East China Sea.
Three sub-areas were recognized in the KEEP area based on the tempera ture-salinity (T-S) lines, and the sampling stations were grouped accordingly. These station groups are the Kuroshio, mixing zone and East China Sea shelf. Dominant species of ichthyoplankton and diversity indices within each station group are discussed. The similarity of station groups as revealed by guild characteristics is illustrated by Spearman's rank correlation and cluster analysis. Ichthyoplankton fauna of station groups indicated an indirect linkage from I-Ian Bay to the shelf of the East China Sea. Since the Kuroshio water mixing zone was excluded from the direct linkage, dispersing of ichthyoplank ton by Kuroshio current might be suggested. In other words, ichthyoplankton guild in the mixing water could not maintain a stable similarity with adjacent areas longitudinally.