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Why does the mudskipper Boleophthalmus pectinirostris form territories in farming ponds?
Chen, S.; Hong, W.; Zhang, Q.; Su, Y. (2007). Why does the mudskipper Boleophthalmus pectinirostris form territories in farming ponds? J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 87(2): 615-619. dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315407054434
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Chen, S.
  • Hong, W.
  • Zhang, Q.
  • Su, Y.

Abstract
    The mudskipper Boleophthalmus pectinirostris maintained territories in farming ponds during the cold season between November and February. There were two types of territory, one was surrounded by mud-walls, and the other was without mud-walls. Both types of territory were entirely covered by shallow water. The area of walled territories was significantly bigger than that of non-walled ones. The nearest neighbour distance of walled territories was significantly shorter than that of non-walled territories. In January, fish surface activity occurred between 1200 and 1500 hours at which time the territorial water temperature reached a maximum, being significantly higher than that of the air, mud surface or deep burrow. The territorial sediments exhibited a significantly greater benthic microalgal biomass (chlorophyll-a and total chlorophyll-a) as compared to the non-territorial sediments. The present study indicates that B. pectinirostris forms a territory during the cold season to keep a pool of water that encourages diatom growth and enables the fish to engage in surface activity.

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