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

Lake and species specific patterns of non-diadromous recruitment in amphidromous fish: the importance of local recruitment and habitat requirements

Andy S. Hicks A D , Matt G. Jarvis A E , Bruno O. David B , Jonathan M. Waters A , Marc D. Norman C and Gerard P. Closs A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Zoology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.

B Waikato Regional Council, 401 Grey Street, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.

C Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

D Present address: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, 159 Dalton Street, Napier 4142, New Zealand.

E Corresponding author: matthew.jarvis@otago.ac.nz

Marine and Freshwater Research 68(12) 2315-2323 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16387
Submitted: 24 November 2016  Accepted: 25 May 2017   Published: 21 July 2017

Abstract

Understanding migratory life histories is critical for the effective management and conservation of migratory species. However, amphidromous migrations (fish hatch in streams, immediately migrate to the sea for a feeding period and return to fresh water as juveniles) remain understudied owing to the difficulties of tracking tiny larval fish. Despite this, it has widely been assumed that amphidromous fish have open, resilient populations, with marine-rearing larvae dispersing widely during their pelagic phase. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that when an alternative freshwater pelagic habitat is available, non-diadromous recruitment will be the dominant process in sustaining amphidromous fish populations, with implications for their connectivity and resilience. Otolith microchemical analyses of five species (three Galaxias (Galaxiidae), two Gobiomorphus (Eleotridae)) from paired systems on the South Island of New Zealand indicated that when a suitable freshwater pelagic habitat existed downstream, non-diadromous recruitment was the primary population-sustaining process, typically contributing >90% of recruits. In addition, not all species recruited from all lakes, indicating the importance of the largely unstudied role of species-specific amphidromous larval requirements. The results of the present study emphasise the need to better understand the dynamics of individual populations of amphidromous fish, and highlight the importance of understanding species-specific early life history requirements to fully understand their distributions and management needs.

Additional keywords: diadromy, Galaxias argenteus, Galaxias brevipinnis, Galaxias maculatus, Gobiomorphus cotidianus, Gobiomorphus huttoni, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).


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