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Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 3, pp 483–489 | Cite as

Living in the front: Neomysis americana (Mysidacea) in the Río de la Plata estuary, Argentina-Uruguay

  • A. Schiariti
  • A. D. Berasategui
  • D. A. Giberto
  • R. A. Guerrero
  • E. M. Acha
  • H. W. Mianzan
Research Article

Abstract

The Río de la Plata is one of the main estuarine systems of South America. It is characterized by a salt wedge regime, a well-developed bottom salinity front, and a maximum turbidity zone associated with it. We described, for the first time, the spatial distributional patterns of Neomysis americana, the most abundant mysid and the main food item for juvenile fishes in this estuary. We analyzed the link between mysid distribution and abundance and the bottom salinity gradient. A total of 242 plankton samples were taken from the Río de la Plata estuary in spring and fall between 1991 and 2001. Bottom salinity gradient was quantified from grids created on the basis of 348 oceanographic stations. The N. americana population was characterized by high abundances (up to 2500 ind. m−3), with juveniles, males, gravid and non-gravid females present in both spring and fall of different years. N. americana distribution followed the position of the bottom salinity front in different years and seasons. Pearson’s correlation analysis between mysid abundance and bottom salinity gradient confirmed the association of mysids with the bottom salinity front (maximum salinity gradient). No correlation was detected between mysid abundance and salinity per se or temperature (neither in spring nor in fall). We speculate that mysids concentrated at the front could take advantage of the high concentration of detrital material for feeding. The results of our work highlight the importance of the magnitude of salinity gradient for the ecological processes of a salt-wedge estuary like the Río de la Plata. The analysis of the spatial distribution of gradient values presented in this work also constitutes a useful tool to locate key ecological areas such as fronts.

Keywords

Salinity Gradient Bottom Salinity Patos Lagoon Maximum Turbidity Zone Salt Wedge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank to M.C. Rodríguez and J. Dadón for their helpful comments on the manuscript, to M.D. Viñas for their assistance, and to F.C. Ramírez for their help on the mysid species identification. Satellite image was acquired by the CONAE (Falda del Carmen, Córdoba, Argentina) and processed by D.A. Gagliardini. This work was partially supported by UNMdP EXA 277/03, Fundación Antorchas N° 13900-13; Agencia PICT 2000 N° 07-08424 and PICT 2003 N° 07-13659; CONICET PIP 5009. This is INIDEP contribution N° 1365.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Schiariti
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. D. Berasategui
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. A. Giberto
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. A. Guerrero
    • 1
    • 3
  • E. M. Acha
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • H. W. Mianzan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)Mar del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Concejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Facultad de Cs. Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de Mar del PlataMar del PlataArgentina

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