MEPS 255:271-282 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps255271

Distribution of whitemouth croaker Micropogonias furnieri in relation to environmental factors at the Río de la Plata estuary, South America

Andres J. Jaureguizar1,2,*, Jose Bava1,3, Claudia R. Carozza2, Carlos A. Lasta2

1CONICET ‹ Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Avda. Rivadavia 1917, 1033 Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
2INIDEP ‹ Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero, Paseo Victoria Ocampo 1, 7600 Mar del Plata, Argentina
3IAFE ‹ Instituto de Astronomia y Fisica del Espacio, Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellon IAFE, CC67 Suc. 28, 1428 Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

ABSTRACT: The age-class distribution of the whitemouth croaker Micropogonias furnieri and its relationship to environmental factors was evaluated from 278 stations sampled between 1993 and 1999 during early winter and spring within the Rio de la Plata estuary (36°S, 56°W). A detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA) was used to define sampling station groups based on age structure of whitemouth croaker, and to estimate their association with depth, type of substrate, temperature and salinity of surface and bottom waters. Complementary information for surface temperature and location of the turbidity fronts was derived from NOAA-14-AVHRR imagery obtained in 1999. Results indicated that bottom salinity has a major influence on the spatial distribution pattern of M. furnieri, and that distinct preferences for different salinities by the various age-classes of this species result in a differential distribution pattern along the main axis of the estuary. In both seasons, turbidity fronts were located at the inner central area of the estuary and showed a close fit with the distribution of the youngest age-classes.

KEY WORDS: Micropogonias furnieri · Age-classes · Environmental factors · Río de la Plata · Estuary

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