ESR 29:271-277 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00717

Prolonged estuarine habitat use by dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus at subtropical latitudes revealed by otolith microchemistry

M. V. Condini1,*, S. E. Tanner2, P. Reis-Santos2,3, C. Q. Albuquerque4, T. D. Saint’Pierre5, J. P. Vieira1, H. N. Cabral2, A. M. Garcia1

1Laboratório de Ictiologia, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal de Rio Grande, Av. Itália Km 08, Carreiros, CEP: 96.201-900, Rio Grande, RS, Brazil
2MARE—Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Campo Grande, Lisboa, Portugal
3Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
4Departamento de Ciências Animais, Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido, CEP: 59625-900, Mossoró, RN, Brazil
5Departamento de Química, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 225, Gávea, 22451-900, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Otolith microchemistry (Sr:Ca, Ba:Ca) was used to evaluate habitat use patterns of the endangered dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus in southern Brazil. Individual Sr:Ca profiles exhibited low variation, with an overall tendency to increase with age. Interestingly, individual Ba:Ca profiles presented 3 contrasting patterns: the first comprised most sampled individuals (>80%), mostly indicative of the predominant use of marine waters throughout their life history; the second pattern (~10% of all individuals) indicated that dusky grouper may use or remain in or near estuarine waters for short time periods; finally, the third identified pattern (~5%) comprised individuals remaining in estuarine waters for long periods and provided the first evidence for this species of prolonged estuarine habitat use (over a year), in particular during juvenile life stages.


KEY WORDS: Epinephelidae · Fish conservation · Life-history plasticity · Movement · Natural tags · Patos Lagoon


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Cite this article as: Condini MV, Tanner SE, Reis-Santos P, Albuquerque CQ and others (2016) Prolonged estuarine habitat use by dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus at subtropical latitudes revealed by otolith microchemistry. Endang Species Res 29:271-277. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00717

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