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The structure of fish communities in the Tagus Estuary, Portugal, and its role as a nursery for commercial fish species
Costa, M.J.; Bruxelas, A. (1989). The structure of fish communities in the Tagus Estuary, Portugal, and its role as a nursery for commercial fish species, in: Ros, J.D. (Ed.) Topics in Marine Biology: Proceedings of the 22nd European Marine Biology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, August 1987. Scientia Marina (Barcelona), 53(2-3): pp. 561-566
In: Ros, J.D. (Ed.) (1989). Topics in Marine Biology: Proceedings of the 22nd European Marine Biology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, August 1987. Scientia Marina (Barcelona), 53(2-3). Instituto de Ciencias del Mar: Barcelona. 145-754 pp., more
In: Scientia Marina (Barcelona). Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Institut de Ciènces del Mar: Barcelona. ISSN 0214-8358, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings [16962]
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Costa, M.J.
  • Bruxelas, A.

Abstract
    The Tagus is the largest estuary in Portugal (320 km²). Its fish community is composed of 44 species, with species diversity values varying between 0.85 and 2.237. Seven fish species use the estuary as a nursery area: Trisopterus luscus (Linnaeus, 1758), Ciliata mustela (Linnaeus, 1758), Dicentrarchus labrax (Linnaeus, 1758), Trigla lucerna Linnaeus, 1758), Platichthys flesus flesus (Linnaeus, 1758), Solea vulgaris vulgaris (Quensel, 1806), and Solea senegalensis (Kaup, 1858). While in the estuary, their growth rate is very high. This may be related to the availability of suitable food items. The brown shrimp Crangon crangon (Linnaeus, 1758) also uses the estuary as a nursery, and is a prefered prey of T. lucerna, D. labrax and C. mustela, and a secondary prey for S. vulgaris and P. flesus. The main food of these last two species are two polychaete species, Nereis diversicolor Müller, 1852 and Lanice conchilega Pallas, 1778. Three shallow water stations near highly productive salt-marshes are the principal nursery areas for fishes. Young of the year D. labrax were caught first in nursery areas in May with a minimum standard length of 25 mm. The first catches of Solea vulgaris occurred in April, when juveniles had a standard length of 30 mm. The highest density was observed in May with 142.3 ind. 1000 m-1. Density values of Solea senegalensis were lower.

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