Partial migration of juvenile temperate seabass Lateolabrax japonicus: a versatile survival strategy
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Partial migration describes intrapopulation variation in the migratory behavior, i.e. some individuals from a population migrate to low-salinity river areas, while others remain in coastal areas. This paper reviews the partial migration pattern of juvenile temperate seabass Lateolabrax japonicus, which is a migration pattern not commonly seen in Japan. Seabass spawn offshore, and eggs and larvae are transported to coastal areas. Some of these juveniles then ascend rivers, while others remain in coastal areas. Juveniles efficiently use physical structures in their habitat; they use tidal currents to ascend rivers in macrotidal estuaries, while they use the salt wedge in microtidal estuaries. Once juveniles ascend the river, they can feed on the abundant prey and attain more rapid growth than those remaining in coastal areas. As estuaries are highly productive areas, they play significant roles as nurseries for juveniles of various fishes. However, compared with coastal areas, the relative area of estuaries is considerably smaller and its environmental conditions are more variable. For example, nearly 40% of adult seabass in Tango Bay were estimated to use estuarine areas as a nursery, while the other 60% use coastal areas during their juvenile stage. Using both estuaries and coastal areas through partial migration during the juvenile stage is concluded to contribute to the stabilization and yield of seabass populations.
KeywordsPartial migration Juvenile Estuary River Temperate seabass
This study was partly supported by the Coastal Ecosystem Complex Project of the Ocean Resource Use Promotion Technology Development Program, MEXT of Japan.
Funding was provided by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
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