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Patterns in abundance and distribution of juvenile flounder, Platichthys flesus, in Minho estuary (NW Iberian Peninsula)
Freitas, V.; Costa-Dias, S.; Campos, J.; Bio, A.; Santos, P.T.; Antunes, C. (2009). Patterns in abundance and distribution of juvenile flounder, Platichthys flesus, in Minho estuary (NW Iberian Peninsula). Aquat. Ecol. 43(4): 1143-1153. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10452-009-9237-8
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588; e-ISSN 1573-5125, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Platichthys flesus; Minho estuary; Flatfish; Nursery; Tidal freshwaterwetlands

Auteurs  Top 
  • Freitas, V.
  • Costa-Dias, S.
  • Campos, J.
  • Bio, A.
  • Santos, P.T.
  • Antunes, C.

Abstract
    For 2 years, the flatfish community of Minho estuary (Northwest of Iberian Peninsula) was surveyed monthly with a beam trawl. Flounder, Platichthys flesus, was the most representative species contributing the most (74%) to the total flatfish abundance and was the only species occurring throughout the sampling period and along the entire salinity gradient. The majority of flounder sampled consisted of 0- and 1-year group individuals. In both years, a peak in abundance was recorded in late spring-summer months (from May to August) which coincided with seasonal settlement events. Higher densities of newly-settled flounder were obtained in the most upstream site, located in the tidal freshwater wetland, indicating that this area is an important nursery area. Of the environmental variables tested, temperature and salinity were the best predictors for 0-year group abundance explaining around 30% of the variability, whereas sediment was also important when considering all age groups together. This study supports the generally prevalent idea that estuaries act as nurseries for the early life stages of flounder, with particular relevance to the tidal freshwater estuarine wetlands.

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