Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 35–40 | Cite as

Migration patterns and habitat use of the tapertail anchovy Coilia mystus in the Oujiang River Estuary and the Zhujiang River Estuary, China

  • Tao Jiang
  • Hongbo Liu
  • Honghui Huang
  • Jian YangEmail author


Habitat use of the tapertail anchovy (Coilia mystus Linnaeus, 1758) from the Oujiang River Estuary and the Zhujiang (Pearl) River Estuary was studied by examining the environmental signatures of Sr and Ca in otoliths using electron probe microanalysis. Individuals from the Oujiang River had higher and varied Sr:Ca ratios (expressed as (Sr:Ca)×1 000, 3.83-13.0 average) in the otolith core regions, suggesting that they were born in brackish or sea waters, and that a freshwater habitat might not be necessary for egg hatching and larval growth. While, individuals from the Zhujiang River had lower Sr:Ca ratios (0.39–2.51 average) in the core regions, suggesting a freshwater origin. After hatching, anchovies from the Zhujiang River migrate downstream to the river estuary close to brackish water. Our results demonstrated varied habitat use for spawning during stages of early life history between the two populations, and suggested that such variations are promoting diversity of life history strategies of this species.

Key words

Coilia mystus Oujiang River Estuary Zhujiang (Pearl) River Estuary habitat use otolith microchemistry 


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We thank Xueliang Chai for his support on fish sampling in the Oujiang River Estuary. We also thank Momodou S Jallow and Horace Mensah for critically reading and providing comments that improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanography and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Jiang
    • 1
  • Hongbo Liu
    • 1
  • Honghui Huang
    • 2
  • Jian Yang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Fishery Ecological Environment Assessment and Research Conservation in Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River, Freshwater Fisheries Research CenterChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesWuxiChina
  2. 2.South China Sea Fishery Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesGuangzhouChina

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