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Abundance, life history and ligulosis in the gobies (Teleostei) of the inner Severn Estuary

Claridge, P.N., Hardisty, M.W., Potter, I.C. and Williams, C.V. (1985) Abundance, life history and ligulosis in the gobies (Teleostei) of the inner Severn Estuary. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 65 (04). pp. 951-968.

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Eight species of the Gobiidae were recorded in weekly samples taken between July 1972 and June 1977 from the intake screens of Oldbury Power Station in the inner Severn Estuary. Buenia jeffreysii, Aphia minuta, Gobius paganellus and Gobius niger occurred infrequently and Crystallogobius linearis was only common in the late spring and summer of 1975 and 1976. Pomatoschistus microps, which peaked in numbers in the winter, increased in abundance each year between 1972 and 1977. The most numerous gobies were those belonging to the Pomatoschistus minutus complex which were separated into P. minutus and P. lozanoi only between June 1974 and July 1975. Seasonal trends in the abundance of these two species were similar, with elevated numbers occurring between July and September 1974 and in January 1975. Gonadosomatic indices and other data indicate that the decline in numbers after the latter month represented an emigration to spawning areas further down the estuary or in the Bristol Channel. Although P. minutus attained a larger body size than P. lozanoi, both these species and P. microps typically had a one year life cycle with only a small number of individuals surviving for a further few months. The fecundity of P. lozanoi, which ranged from 410–2453 (mean 1270), was lower than that reported for P. minutus in this and other studies. Analysis of stomach contents showed that the diet of both species was similar, consisting predominantly of gammarids and mysids. While both species were infected with Ligula intestinalis, the incidence of infection and the parasite index was greater in P. lozanoi than in P. minutus.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1985
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