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Ocean–estuarine connection for ichthyoplankton through the inlet channel of a temperate choked coastal lagoon (Argentina)

Daniel O. Bruno A B E , Sergio M. Delpiani A B , María B. Cousseau A D , Juan M. Díaz de Astarloa A B , Gabriela E. Blasina A B , Ezequiel Mabragaña A B and Eduardo M. Acha B C

A Laboratorio de Biotaxonomía Morfológica y Molecular de Peces (BIMOPE). Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Dean Funes 3350, Mar del Plata, B7602AYL, Argentina.
B Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), CONICET and Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Dean Funes 3350, Mar del Plata, B7602AYL, Argentina.
C Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo No 1, CC 175, B7602HSA, Mar del Plata, Argentina.
D Laboratorio de Ictiología. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Dean Funes 3350, Mar del Plata, B7602AYL, Argentina.
E Corresponding author. Email: dobruno@mdp.edu.ar

Marine and Freshwater Research - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13128
Submitted: 27 December 2013  Accepted: 3 April 2014   Published online: 17 October 2014


 
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Abstract

We examined the fish larvae colonising pattern of the Mar Chiquita lagoon (Argentina). We hypothesised that in this microtidal lagoon, winds could regulate fish larvae dynamics. Ichthyoplankton samples were taken in marine waters, the surf zone and the estuary. Previous studies showed no reproduction by fishes with planktonic eggs inside the lagoon. However high abundance of eggs and larvae of Brevoortia aurea collected within the estuary also suggest possible spawning activity. Throughout the study period, the cumulated richness of fish larvae was slightly higher in the estuary. However, univariate analysis revealed a higher number of species per tow in marine waters than in the estuary. The lowest average values of fish density, number of species and diversity recorded in the surf zone suggest that this area is only used as a transient corridor between the sea and the lagoon. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that wind direction, tidal stage, temperature and rainfall contributed significantly to the fish larvae distribution patterns observed; being ‘onshore wind’ the most important variable affecting fishes. Our results show how winds, in addition to pushing seawater into the lagoon, contribute to larvae recruitment into this estuary. Finally, we discuss the role of small lagoons in the life-history of coastal fishes.

Additional keywords: choked coastal lagoon, fish larvae, ocean–estuarine gradient, recruitment patterns, surf zone, wind effect.


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