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Variations in biological characteristics of temperate gonochoristic species of Platycephalidae and their implications: A review

Coulson, P.G., Hall, N.G. and Potter, I.C. (2017) Variations in biological characteristics of temperate gonochoristic species of Platycephalidae and their implications: A review. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 190 . pp. 50-68.

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This review provides a composite account of the biological characteristics of the temperate gonochoristic species of the Platycephalidae. Initially, data were obtained for the five abundant platycephalid species in south-western Australia, which each came from either over bare substrata or seagrass and from either estuaries, marine coastal waters or marine embayments. The von Bertalanffy growth curves for females and males of each species differed significantly, with females having a greater TL∞ and lower growth coefficient k. From tests using their upper deciles, the total length (TL) attained by the largest females of each species was significantly greater than that of their males, whereas such a trend did not occur with age. The ratio of females to males in each abundant age class, and overall, exceeded parity for four of the five species (typically P < 0.001) and increased with increasing TL. Mortality estimates, which were similar for each sex of each species, suggest that Platycephalus speculator has been substantially exploited in a seasonally-closed estuary in which it completes its whole life cycle. The above and other biological data for the five species were collated with those published previously for two of those species and five other platycephalid species in south-eastern Australia and one in Japan and another in the Suez Canal, yielding the following conclusions for gonochoristic species of the Platycephalidae. Females attain a larger size than males, the extent varying markedly among species, whereas the longevities of the two sexes of each platycephalid species are similar. The maximum TLs and ages of the various species range widely, with values for females, for example, extending from 221 mm for Ambiserrula jugosa to 985 mm for Platycephalus fuscus and from four years for A. jugosa to 26 years for Platycephalus conatus. The overall ratio of females to males is positively related to the extent to which both the maximum TLs and TL∞s of the females exceed those of males. The above trends imply that growth, rather than differences in longevity and/or mortality, is the main factor contributing to the marked differences in sex ratios, which ranged widely from parity to 3.2:1. As the length at maturity, but not typically age at maturity, was greater for females than males, maturity is also related mainly to growth. The spawning periods of the various species overlapped, commencing as early as late winter/early spring, as temperatures started rising with four species and later in late spring/early summer with the three species found in estuaries, which would be advantageous as spawning in estuaries would occur when environmental conditions are most favourable for spawning success and larval retention.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
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