Do spatial differences in the abundance of two serranid fishes in estuaries of tropical Australia reflect long-term salinity patterns?

Sheaves, Marcus (1996) Do spatial differences in the abundance of two serranid fishes in estuaries of tropical Australia reflect long-term salinity patterns? Marine Ecology Progress Series, 137. pp. 39-49.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps137039
 
65


Abstract

Epinephelus coioides and E. malabaricus are closely related species of serranid fishes. They are similar in appearance, occupy the same habitats and are represented in estuaries of northeastern tropical Australia almost entirely by juveniles. Fish traps were used to sample these 2 species from 3 estuaries on the northeast coast of tropical Australia over a 2 yr period. Patterns of distribution, abundance and size structure were compared. Despite the similarities between the 2 species, they showed quite different patterns of distribution and abundance, both within and between estuaries. In seaward parts of the estuaries the numbers of E. coioides were similar to or greater than those of E. malabaricus. However, in upstream areas E. malabaricus became much more abundant than E. coioides. The reasons for this change in dominance are unknown. However, upstream areas of the estuaries exhibited extreme levels of salinity (either hypersaline or hyposaline) and catches of the 2 species correlated with the maximum deviation in salinity. This suggests that if salinity, or some correlated variable, does influence the abundance of the 2 species, it is through long-term effects rather than short-term changes. Regardless of the reason, these spatial differences in abundance suggest that E. malabaricus is better equipped to deal with the challenges of estuary life than is E. coioides.

Item ID: 35495
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: estuary, tropical fish distribution, salinity
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2014 04:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 65
Last 12 Months: 26
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page