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Potential linkages between juvenile nurseries and exploited populations of Mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus), explored using otolith chemistry


Russell, A and Taylor, MD and Barnes, TC and Johnson, DD and Gillanders, BM, Potential linkages between juvenile nurseries and exploited populations of Mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus), explored using otolith chemistry, Fisheries Research, 243 Article 106063. ISSN 0165-7836 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Crown Copyright 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2021.106063


Many exploited coastal species rely on estuarine nurseries, however, the importance of different estuaries and their contribution to exploited populations can vary. Identification of connectivity between source nurseries and exploited populations is important for effective habitat and fishery management. We present a case study which employs otolith chemistry to investigate source-sink population dynamics across broad spatial scales for an exploited migratory sciaenid, Mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus). Specifically, we compared the otolith chemical fingerprints of juveniles in putative estuarine nurseries across south-eastern Australia with the sub-yearling chemical fingerprints of post-recruited fish in the exploited component of the stock. Multinomial Logistic Regression (MLR) suggested that two of the eight estuarine nurseries sampled were particularly important sources of Mulloway recruits, and there was strong evidence of stock mixing which exceeded that expected from historic tag-recapture studies. However, there was some uncertainty in the patterns resolved. Variation in otolith signatures between the known-source juveniles and post-recruit fish may be explained by inter-annual variability in these systems, caused by extensive flooding on the central and northern-NSW coast during the study period. These events contributed considerable extrinsic variation to the chemical composition, influencing the lack of overlap between otolith chemistry of putative nurseries and sub-yearling otolith chemistry of exploited fish. The approach presented highlights the importance of considering inter-annual variability when examining source-sink relationships in long-lived species, but the use of otolith fingerprints shows promise for evaluating these questions for both Mulloway and other exploited fish species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fish, life history, otolith chemistry, mulloway, Sciaenidae, source-sink dynamics, stock structure, connectivity, strontium, barium
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Bioavailability and ecotoxicology
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Aquaculture prawns
UTAS Author:Barnes, TC (Dr Thomas Barnes)
ID Code:147741
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2021-11-13
Last Modified:2021-12-09

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