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Understanding the role of climatic and environmental variables in gonadal maturation and spawning periodicity of spotted snakehead, Channa punctata (Bloch, 1793) in a tropical floodplain wetland, India

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Abstract

Temperature and seasonal rainfall along with other environmental variables are important in regulating the reproductive cycles in teleost fishes. Certain environmental variables may act as cues for reproduction and changes in these may affect seasonality and success of reproduction, as fishes are known to integrate their physiological functions with environmental cycles. Wetlands are sensitive to climate change due to their shallow and confined nature. Since wetlands are important spawning and nursery grounds for many fishes, changes in the environmental variables may have direct consequences for the spawning and survival of fish. In the present study, we have assessed climatic and water chemistry variables capable of influencing seasonality in environmental variables as well as gonadal maturation of spotted snakehead Channa punctata, to predict threshold values of Gonado Somatic Index in females and a favourable range of identified climatic and water chemistry variables for breeding success. Among the climatic and water chemistry variables studied, seasonal variation in rainfall was found to have the most profound effect on gonadal maturation and breeding in C. punctata, followed by water temperature. The favourable range of rainfall obtained varied between 800 mm to 1400 mm, corresponding to the water temperature range between 29 °C and 31 °C. An overall significant warming trend with a reduction in total rainfall has been observed with changes in seasonal trends in temperature and rainfall in the study area. The rainfall being the major climatic factors influencing water chemistry in the wetlands during the spawning season, changes in rainfall pattern may influence breeding periodicity of C. punctata in wetlands in climate change scenario.

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Acknowledgements

Authors are thankful to the Director, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore for his endless support. The financial support in the project National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) is also gratefully acknowledged. We would also like to acknowledge the services rendered by fishermen of Bhomra Fisheries Co-operative Society, District Nadia, West Bengal (India). The authors would also like to acknowledge the reviewers for their critical and constructive suggestions for improvement of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Gunjan Karnatak.

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Karnatak, G., Sarkar, U.K., Naskar, M. et al. Understanding the role of climatic and environmental variables in gonadal maturation and spawning periodicity of spotted snakehead, Channa punctata (Bloch, 1793) in a tropical floodplain wetland, India. Environ Biol Fish 101, 595–607 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-018-0722-6

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