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Influence of site, season and year on contributions made by marine, estuarine, diadromous and freshwater species to the fish fauna of a temperate Australian estuary

Loneragan, N.R., Potter, I.C. and Lenanton, R.C.J. (1989) Influence of site, season and year on contributions made by marine, estuarine, diadromous and freshwater species to the fish fauna of a temperate Australian estuary. Marine Biology, 103 (4). pp. 461-479.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00399578
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Abstract

Catches obtained at regular intervals by beach seining, gill netting and otter trawling at ten, four and six sites, respectively, have been used to determine the contribution of the different species and life-cycle categories of fish to the ichthyofauna of the large Swan Estuary in temperate south-western Australia between February 1977 and December 1981. These data were also examined to investigate the influence of site, season and year on the densities of the more abundant species. A total of 630 803 fish, representing 36 families and 71 species, were caught in the shallows using beach seines during this 5 yr study. Although the majority of these species were marine teleosts that were caught infrequently (marine stragglers), representatives of 7 of the 15 most abundant species were marine teleosts which entered the estuary regularly, and in large numbers (marine estuarine-opportunists). Of the remaining 8 most abundant species in the shallows, 7 completed their life cycle within the estuary (estuarine species) and 1 (Nematalosa vlaminghi) was anadromous, feeding for a period at sea and spawning in the upper reaches of the estuary. The contribution of individuals of the marine estuarine-opportunist category to catches in the shallows declined from nearly 95% in the lower estuary, to 17% in the middle estuary and 6% in the upper estuary. The estuarine and anadromous groups made a considerable contribution to the catches in both the middle and upper estuaries. By contrast, the contribution of freshwater species was small and even in the upper estuary accounted for only 0.2% of the catch. Site within the estuary generally influenced the catches of individual species to a greater extent than either season or year, or the interactions between these factors. When seasonal effects were strong, they could be related to summer spawning migrations into the upper estuary (Nematalosa vlaminghi, Amniataba caudavittatus), spring immigrations into the lower estuary (Mugil cephalus), or winter movements into deeper and more saline waters (Apogon rueppellii). Annual variations in the density of Torquigener pleurogramma were related to marked annual differences in the recruitment of the 0+age class.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/12806
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