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Condition of larval and early juvenile Japanese temperate bass Lateolabrax japonicus related to spatial distribution and feeding in the Chikugo estuarine nursery ground in the Ariake Bay, Japan
Islam, Md. S.; Hibino, M.; Nakayama, K.; Tanaka, M. (2006). Condition of larval and early juvenile Japanese temperate bass Lateolabrax japonicus related to spatial distribution and feeding in the Chikugo estuarine nursery ground in the Ariake Bay, Japan. J. Sea Res. 55(2): 141-155. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2005.08.004
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Body conditions; Condition factor; DNA; Estuaries; Feeding behaviour; Geographical distribution; Juveniles; Nursery grounds; RNA; Sinocalanus sinensis (Poppe, 1889) [WoRMS]; INW, Japan, Kyushu, Ariake Sound; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Islam, Md. S.
  • Hibino, M.
  • Nakayama, K.
  • Tanaka, M.

Abstract
    The present study investigates feeding and condition of larval and juvenile Japanese temperate bass Lateolabrax japonicus in relation to spatial distribution in the Chikugo estuary (Japan). Larvae were collected in a wide area covering the nursery grounds of the species in 2002 and 2003. Food habits of the fish were analysed by examining their gut contents. Fish condition was evaluated by using morphometric (the length-weight relationship and condition factor) and biochemical (the RNA:DNA ratio and other nucleic acid based parameters) indices and growth rates. The nucleic-acid contents in individually frozen larvae and juveniles were quantified by standard fluorometric methods. Two distinct feeding patterns, determined by the distribution of prey copepods, were identified. The first pattern showed dependence on the calanoid copepod Sinocalanus sinensis, which was the single dominant prey in low-saline upper river areas. The second pattern involved a multi-specific dietary habit mainly dominated by Acartia omorii, Oithona davisae, and Paracalanus parvus. As in the gut contents analyses, two different sets of values were observed for RNA, DNA, total protein, growth rates and for all the nucleic acid-based indices: one for the high-saline downstream areas and a second for the low-saline upstream areas, which was significantly higher than the first. The proportion of starving fish was lower upstream than downstream. Values of the allometric coefficient (b) and the condition factor (K) obtained from the length-weight relationships increased gradually from the sea to the upper river. Clearly, fish in the upper river had a better condition than those in the lower estuary. RNA:DNA ratios correlated positively with temperature and negatively with salinity. We hypothesise that by migration to the better foraging grounds of the upper estuary (with higher prey biomass, elevated temperature and reduced salinity), the fish reduce early mortality and attain a better condition. We conclude that utilisation of the copepod S. sinensis in the upstream nursery grounds is one of the key early survival strategies in Japanese temperate bass in the Chikugo estuary.

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