Preliminary insight into the relationship between environmental factors and the nutritional condition and growth of Gilchristella aestuaria larvae in the upper reaches of South African estuaries

Costalago, David, Strydom, Nadine, Frost, Carminita and Clemmesen, Catriona (2015) Preliminary insight into the relationship between environmental factors and the nutritional condition and growth of Gilchristella aestuaria larvae in the upper reaches of South African estuaries Environmental Biology of Fishes, 98 (12). pp. 2367-2378. DOI 10.1007/s10641-015-0447-8.

[img] Text
art_10.1007_s10641-015-0447-8.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (458Kb) | Contact

Supplementary data:

Abstract

Estuarine systems play a critical role as nursery areas for some fish species. Nursery function, nevertheless, is likely to vary among estuaries, mostly due to differences in habitat quality. High quality nursery habitats are those in which growth and survival of early stages of fish are enhanced. The nutritional condition of larval fishes has vital implications for their mortality and growth, and thereby their recruitment. This study aimed to compare the nutritional condition of Gichristella aestuaria larvae, using individual RNA-DNA ratios and growth rates in the upper reaches of six estuaries in South Africa to find the environmental factors that better determine the nutritional condition of fish larvae. Physico-chemical factors as well as calorific value of zooplankton were used to correlate to fish body condition. Results showed that the larvae of G. aestuaria from the freshwater rich Gamtoos and the Sundays estuaries were in better nutritional condition than the larvae from other estuaries, while larvae from the Swartkops Estuary, a highly eutrophic system, presented the worst nutritional condition of all studied larvae. Salinity and the abundance of zooplankton were the major factors determining the nutritional condition of G. aestuaria larvae in these warm temperate estuaries. In addition, our results suggest that the match-mismatch hypothesis might also be important in estuarine systems. This study represents one of the few studies worldwide that applied a multispecies growth model for fish larvae in warm temperate estuaries

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000363546800006
Keywords: Nursery habitats; Estuarine round-herring; Fish larvae; Food patches; RNA-DNA ratio; Habitat quality
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s10641-015-0447-8
ISSN: 0378-1909
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 11:38
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:51
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/29889

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...