The ichthyoplankton of a seasonally closed estuary in temperate Australia. Does an extended period of opening influence species composition?
Neira, F.J. and Potter, I.C. (1992) The ichthyoplankton of a seasonally closed estuary in temperate Australia. Does an extended period of opening influence species composition? Journal of Fish Biology, 41 (6). pp. 935-953.
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Fish eggs and larvae were collected monthly between September 1987 and April 1989 from sites throughout the main basin and within the saline regions of the two main tributary rivers of Wilson Inlet, a seasonally closed estuary in south-western Australia. Of the eggs, 43.7% belonged to Engraulis australis (Shaw) and the rest to unidentified teleosts. The larval fish assemblage comprised 17 families represented by 25 species. The Gobiidae contained the highest number of species (four) and contributed approximately 57% of all larvae caught. Pseudogobius olorum (Sauvage) and E. australis were the most abundant species, contributing 43.9 and 27.9% to the total larval catch, respectively. The larvae of species which breed within Wilson Inlet dominated the assemblage, both in terms of number of species (64%) and contribution to total catch (99.9%). The numbers of the eight marine species and one freshwater species represented in the ichthyoplankton were very low. Classification and multi-dimensional scaling ordination showed that the composition of the larval fish fauna at the various sites during a period when the estuary remained open to the sea (December 1988-April 1989) was similar to that of the corresponding sites during the same period in the previous year when the estuary had become closed (December 1987-April 1988). This can be attributed to the spatial distribution, time of occurrence and abundance of estuarine-spawned larvae being similar in the two periods and to the rarity of marine-spawned larvae, even in the spring and summer of 1988/1989 when the estuary was open for the whole time when most marine teleosts spawn in south-western Australia. The low occurrence of marine-spawned larvae in Wilson Inlet reflects the fact that tidal water movement within the basin of the system is so small that it is unable to facilitate the transport and dispersion of larvae. The ichthyoplankton of Wilson Inlet resembles that of other poorly-flushed estuaries in that it is low in species richness and dominated by estuarine-spawned larvae.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Biological and Environmental Sciences|
|Publisher:||Blackwell Publishing Inc|
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