Use of the surf zone of sandy beaches by croaker’s larvae (Cynoscion spp.), Province of Guayas, Ecuador

Solange Andrade-Vera, Maria José Bonifaz, Luis E. Domínguez-Granda, José R. Marín-Jarrín

Submited: 2016-02-05 21:41:14 | Published: 2017-05-22 18:04:12

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol45-issue2-fulltext-18

Abstract


The surf zone of sandy beaches exhibits high faunal diversity and can be a nursery habitat for fish and crustacean. Croakers (Cynoscion spp.) are commercially and ecologically important euryhaline fishes whose larvae are found in the surf zone of sandy beaches; however, little is known about their biology. In this project, the use of surf zones was determined by studying the presence, density and growth of croaker larvae in an Ecuadorian surf zone adjacent to the largest estuarine system of western South America, and the relationship of these three factors with environmental variables explored. Fish larvae were collected during three days in the rainy season, using a hyperbenthic sledge and their otoliths analyzed. Croakers accounted for 58.6% of all larvae collected (mean density = 8.97 ± 10.17 ind 100 m-2). Size frequency distribution analysis (2.3 to 7.9 mm standard length, SL) resulted in a multimodal distribution, suggesting there were several cohorts of larvae that entered the surf zone and some inhabited the surf zone for several days. Recent larval growth rate (last three days) was 0.42 ± 0.12% SL day-1 and was positively related to water temperature, oxygen and croaker density, suggesting the number of croakers in the surf zone increased as growth conditions improved. Our study suggests that croaker larvae are the primary users of Ecuadorian surf zones adjacent to estuarine systems during the wet season, where they enter by pulses, attracted by better conditions for growth.

Andrade-Vera S, Bonifaz M, Domínguez-Granda L, Marín-Jarrín J. Use of the surf zone of sandy beaches by croaker’s larvae (Cynoscion spp.), Province of Guayas, Ecuador. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;45(2): 431-442. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol45-issue2-fulltext-18 [Accessed 10 Dec. 2019].
Andrade-Vera, S., Bonifaz, M., Domínguez-Granda, L., & Marín-Jarrín, J. (2017). Use of the surf zone of sandy beaches by croaker’s larvae (Cynoscion spp.), Province of Guayas, Ecuador. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 45(2), 431-442. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3856/vol45-issue2-fulltext-18