Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 161–172 | Cite as

Temporal changes in the fish fauna entering a tidal swamp system in tropical Australia

  • Timothy L.O Davis


Leanyer Swamp, a tidal swamp in tropical Australia, is a nursery area for a number of fish species of marine origin. Juveniles of 38 species, representing 24 families, were trapped between October 1979 and March 1980 as they entered the swamp on flood spring tides. The composition of the fish fauna varied markedly between the late dry, early wet and late wet seasons. Of the 17 species whose numbers were significantly correlated to environmental parameters, 15 were correlated wholly or in part with season. The season, the sequence of flood spring tides and the height of these tides determined the movement of the fish community as a whole. The seasonal abundance of many fish species was determined more by their breeding patterns and the dispersal abilities of their juveniles than by such environmental parameters as temperature and salinity which, despite their seasonal change, varied over the short-term with the interaction of tides and rainfall.

Key words

Nursery Juvenile Salt marsh Estuary Littoral Tidal trap Monsoon Environment Principal co-ordinates analysis Classification Ordination Community 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Beumer, J.P. 1980. Hydrology and fish diversity of a north Queensland tropical stream. Aust. J. Ecol. 5: 159–186.Google Scholar
  2. Blaber, S.J.M. 1980. Fish of the Trinity Inlet system of North Queensland with notes on the ecology of the fish faunas of tropical Indo-Pacific estuaries. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 31: 137–146.Google Scholar
  3. Blaber, S.J.M. 1987. Factors affecting recruitment and survival of Mugilidae in estuaries and coastal waters of south east Africa. pp. 507–518. In: M.J. Dadswell, R.J. Klauda, C.M. Moffitt, R.L. Saunders & R.A. Rulifson (ed.). Common Strategies of Anadromous and Catadromous fishes. American Fisheries Society Symposium, No. 1, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  4. Blaber, S.J.M., J.W. Young & M.C. Dunning. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36: 247–266.Google Scholar
  5. Bloom, S.A. 1981. Similarity indices in community studies: potential pitfalls. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 5: 125–128.Google Scholar
  6. Chua, Thia-Eng. 1973. An ecological study of the Ponggol Estuary in Singapore. Hydrobiol. 43: 505–533.Google Scholar
  7. Cyrus, D.P. & S.J.M. Blaber. 1984. The reproductive biology of Gerres in Natal estuaries. J. Fish Biol. 24: 491–504.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, T.L.O. 1985a. Seasonal changes in gonad maturity, and abundance of larvae and early juveniles of barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch), in Van Diemen Gulf and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36: 177–190.Google Scholar
  9. Davis, T.L.O. 1985b. The food of barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch), in coastal and inland waters of Van Diemen Gulf and the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. J. Fish Biol. 26: 669–682.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, T.L.O. & G.P. Kirkwood. 1984. Age and growth studies on barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch), in northern Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 35: 673–689.Google Scholar
  11. Day, J.H., S.J.M. Blaber & J.H. Wallace. 1981. Estuarine Fishes, pp. 197–221. In: J.H. Day(ed.) Estuarine Ecology, A.A. Balkema, Cape Town.Google Scholar
  12. Day, J.W., Jr., W.G. Smith, P.R. Wagner & W.C. Stone. 1973. Community structure and carbon budget of a saltmarsh and shallow bay estuarine system in Louisiana. Center for Wetland Resources, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Publ. No. LSU-SG-72-04. 80 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Field, J.G., K.R. Clarke & R.M. Warwick. 1982. A practical strategy for analysing multispecies distribution patterns. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 8: 37–52.Google Scholar
  14. Gower, J.C. 1966. Some distance properties of latent root and vector methods used in multivariate analysis. Biometrika 53: 325–328.Google Scholar
  15. Gower, J.C. 1967. Multivariate analysis and multidimensional geometry. Statistician 17: 13–28.Google Scholar
  16. Gunn, J.S. & N.E. Milward. 1985. The food, feeding habits and feeding structures of the whiting species Sillago sihama (Forsskal) and Sillago analis Whitely from Townsville, North Queensland, Australia. J. Fish Biol. 26: 411–427.Google Scholar
  17. Jones, S. & K.H. Sujansingani. 1954. Fish and fisheries of Chilka Lake with statistics of fish catches for the years 1948–1950. Indian J. Fish. 1: 256–344.Google Scholar
  18. Kendall, D.G. 1971. Seriation from abundance matrices, pp. 215–252. In: F.R. Hodson, D.G. Kendall & P. Tautu(ed.) Mathematics in the Archaeological and Historical Sciences, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  19. Kinne, O. 1967. Physiology of estuarine organisms with special reference to salinity and temperature: General aspects. pp. 525–540. In: G.H. Lauff (ed.) Estuaries. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Publ. No. 83, Washington.Google Scholar
  20. Livingston, R. 1976. Diurnal and seasonal fluctuations of organisms in a north Florida estuary. Estuar. Coast. Mar. Sci. 4: 373–400.Google Scholar
  21. McHugh, J.L. 1967. Estuarine nekton. pp. 581–620. In: G.H. Lauff (ed.) Estuaries, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Publ. No. 83, Washington.Google Scholar
  22. Moore, R. 1980. Migration and reproduction in the percoid fish Lates calcarifer (Bloch). Ph. D. Thesis, University of London, 213 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Moore, R. 1982. Spawning and early life history of barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch), in Papua New Guinea. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 33: 647–661.Google Scholar
  24. Nixon, S.W. & C.A. Oviatt. 1973. Ecology of a New England salt marsh. Ecol. Monogr. 43: 463–498.Google Scholar
  25. Pollard, D.A. 1980. Family Megalopidae. Oxeye herring. pp. 53–54. In: R.M. McDowall (ed.) Freshwater Fishes of Southeastern Australia, A.H. & A.W. Reed Pty. Ltd.Google Scholar
  26. Russell, D.J. & R.N. Garrett. 1983. Use by juvenile barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch), and other fishes of temporary supralittoral habitats in a tropical estuary in northern Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 34: 805–811.Google Scholar
  27. Russell, D.J. & R.N. Garrett. 1985. Early life history of barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch), in north-eastern Queensland. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36: 191–201.Google Scholar
  28. Subrahmanyam, C.B. & C.L. Coultas. 1980. Studies on the animal communities in two north Florida salt marshes. Part III. Seasonal fluctuations of fish and macroinvertebrates. Bull. Mar. Sci. 30: 790–818.Google Scholar
  29. Swan, J.M.A. 1970. An examination of some ordination problems by use of simulated vegetational data. Ecology 51: 89–102.Google Scholar
  30. Wallace, J.H. 1975. The estuarine fishes of the east coast of South Africa. III. Reproduction. South African Association for Marine Biological Research. Oceanographic Research Institute Investigational Report 41: 1–51.Google Scholar
  31. Weinstein, M.P. 1979. Shallow marsh habitats as primary nurseries for fishes and shellfish, Cape Fear River, North Carolina, U.S. Fish. Bull. 77: 339–357.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy L.O Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Fisheries Research, CSIRO Marine LaboratoriesHobartAustralia

Personalised recommendations