Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Nursery areas and connectivity of the adults anadromous catfish (Genidens barbus) revealed by otolith-core microchemistry in the south-western Atlantic Ocean

Esteban Avigliano A F , Barbara Carvalho B , Gonzalo Velasco C , Pamela Tripodi D , Marcelo Vianna E and Alejandra Vanina Volpedo A

A Instituto de Investigaciones en Producción Animal (INPA-CONICET), Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Avenida Chorroarín 280 (C1427CWO), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

B Laboratório de Ictiologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Avenida Beira-mar s/n (83255-000), Pontal do Paraná, PR, Brazil.

C Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Avenida Italia, quilômetro 8 (96203-900), Rio Grande, RS, Brazil.

D Instituto de Investigación e Ingenieria Ambiental (3iA), Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM), Martín de Irigoyen 3100 (1650), San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

E Laboratório de Biologia e Tecnologia Pesqueira, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Avenida Carlos Chagas Filho 373 B1, RJ, Brazil.

F Corresponding author. Email: estebanavigliano@conicet.gov.ar

Marine and Freshwater Research 68(5) 931-940 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16058
Submitted: 26 February 2016  Accepted: 1 June 2016   Published: 21 July 2016

Abstract

The anadromous catfish, Genidens barbus, is a commercial and vulnerable species from South America. The aims of the present study were to assess whether the nursery areas can be discriminated by using microchemical signatures of lapillus otoliths, to assess the accuracy of classifying fish in relation to natal nursery area and to discuss the possibility of existence of homing behaviour. Thus, the otolith-core chemical signatures (barium (Ba) : calcium (Ca), lithium (Li) : Ca, magnesium (Mg) : Ca, manganese (Mn) : Ca, strontium (Sr) : Ca, and zinc (Zn) : Ca ratios) of adult fish were compared among different estuaries (De La Plata River in Argentina, and Patos Lagoon, Paranaguá Bay and Guanabara Bay in Brazil). PERMANOVA analysis showed significant differences in the multi-element signatures of the otolith core among sampling sites for all cohorts (2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007), indicating that the technique has considerable potential for use in future assessments of population connectivity and nursery areas of G. barbus. Via quadratic discriminant function analysis, fish were classified to natal nursery areas with 80–100% cross-validation classification accuracies. These results suggested that a high level of spatial segregation exists in adult catfish life and homing behaviour could not be ruled out on the basis of our data.

Additional keywords: discriminant analysis, endangered species, homing behaviour, micromilling, otolith microchemical signatures.


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