Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 3 (2006)

Habitat selection by grey mullets (Osteichthyes: Mugilidae) in Mediterranean estuaries: the role of salinity


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2006.70n3443

Luis Cardona
Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract


A stratified study of microhabitat use by grey mullet on the island of Minorca (Balearic archipelago, western Mediterranean) showed that the distribution of all the species was dramatically affected by salinity. Sites with a salinity level under 15 were positively selected in spring and summer by those species whose growth performance was the best in oligomesohaline water (Liza ramado and Mugil cephalus) but also by a species whose growth was not affected by salinity (Chelon labrosus). Liza aurata concentrated in polyhaline and euhaline sites, where growth was improved, a pattern also exhibited by Liza saliens. Both species avoided fresh water sites all year round. As a consequence, community structure was correlated with salinity. The above reported electivity patterns often disappeared in autumn, when most grey mullets migrate off-shore.


Keywords


Chelon labrosus; Liza aurata; Liza ramado; Liza saliens; Mugil cephalus; salinity

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