Seasonal variation and environmental influences on juvenile banana prawn (Penaeus merguiensis) abundance in a subtropical estuary (Logan River) of eastern Australia
Meager, J.J., Vance, D.J., Loneragan, N.R. and Williamson, I. (2003) Seasonal variation and environmental influences on juvenile banana prawn (Penaeus merguiensis) abundance in a subtropical estuary (Logan River) of eastern Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 57 (4). pp. 569-576.
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Although the life history-environment relationship for juvenile Penaeus merguiensis in tropical regions has been well documented, little is known about the species towards the subtropical limits of its range. Seasonal patterns of abundances of juvenile and postlarval P. merguiensis were studied in the Logan River, a subtropical estuary in eastern Australia from January 1998 to July 2000. Prawns were sampled using a small beam trawl at fortnightly intervals when they were abundant and monthly intervals at other times. The prawns ranged in size from 1.8 to 22 mm in carapace length (CL), with a mean size ( ± 1 SE) of 6.7 ± 0.1 mm CL and were caught at densities of up to 14.2 ± 3.3 prawns m-2. Postlarvae were caught from January to July, with peaks in April and May; and juveniles were abundant from December to June, although this varied between years. The numbers of postlarvae, temperature and rainfall explained 23% of the overall variation in juvenile catches. Temperature and rainfall also explained some of the variation in postlarval catches (9.9%). Recruitment varied considerably between years, and was the highest in years when rainfall was low (1998 and 2000). In general, both the seasonal patterns of catches of postlarval and juvenile P. merguiensis, and environmental processes affecting their abundance were similar to tropical areas. However, one notable difference was that recruitment occurred over a more restricted time period in the Logan River than in tropical regions.
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