, Volume 661, Issue 1, pp 445–456 | Cite as

Ontogenetic habitat preferences of the narrownose smooth-hound shark, Mustelus schmitti, in two Southwestern Atlantic coastal areas

  • Federico CortésEmail author
  • Andrés J. Jaureguizar
  • Roberto C. Menni
  • Raúl A. Guerrero
Primary research paper


The aim of this study was to determine the ontogenetic habitat preferences of the narrownose smooth-hound shark, Mustelus schmitti, in Río de la Plata and El Rincón coastal areas. There, canonical correspondence analyses of fishery research survey data showed that M. schmitti ontogenetic stages were differentially affected by depth, temperature and salinity. Neonates and juveniles were more abundant and remain in nearshore waters, suggesting the presence of nursery areas in which food availability and environmental conditions allow a faster growth. Adults M. schmitti presented different environmental associations mainly associated with depth and temperature. During non-reproductive season they were associated with deeper coastal waters. With the arrival of the reproductive season, adults migrate from deep to nearshore waters and show sexual segregation associated with pre- or post-mating behaviors. Hence, the year-round presence of neonates and juveniles and the seasonal occurrence of adults in nearshore waters make this habitat essential to M. schmitti population dynamics since key ontogenetic stages will be vulnerable if a direct impact occurs there.


Habitat use Essential fish habitat Shark nursery area Sexual segregation Distribution pattern 



F. C. was supported by a fellowship from Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina. We wish to express our gratitude to ‘Programa Pesquerías de Condrictios’ and ‘Programa Especies Demersales Costeras’ of the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (Argentina) for help in obtaining trawl samples. We thank Luis Lucifora, Enric Cortés, Cynthia Awruch, Koen Martens and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments that greatly improved the manuscript. INIDEP Contribution No. 1614.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Cortés
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andrés J. Jaureguizar
    • 1
    • 3
  • Roberto C. Menni
    • 2
  • Raúl A. Guerrero
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)Mar del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CIC)La PlataArgentina
  4. 4.Departamento de Ciencias MarinasUniversidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMDP)Mar del PlataArgentina

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