Unpacking the complexity of longitudinal movement and recruitment patterns of facultative amphidromous fish
DescriptionArtículo de publicación WOS - SCOPUS
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Longitudinal movement plays fundamental role in habitat colonization and population establishment of many riverine fish species. Movement patterns of amphidromous fish species at fine-scales that would allow characterizing the direction of movement and factors associated with the establishment of specific life-history strategies (resident or amphidromous) in rivers are still poorly understood. We assess fine-scale longitudinal movement variability patterns of facultative amphidromous fish species Galaxias maculatus in order to unfold its life-history variation and associated recruitment habitats. Specifically, we analyzed multi-elemental composition along core to edge transects in ear-bones (otoliths) of each fish using recursive partitions that divides the transect along signal discontinuities. Fine-scale movement assessment in five free-flowing river systems allowed us to identify movement direction and potential recruitment habitats. As such, resident recruitment of G. maculatus in freshwater (71%) and estuarine (24%) habitats was more frequent than amphidromous recruitment (5%), and was linked to availability of slow-flowing lotic or lentic habitats that produce or retain small-bodied prey consumed by their larvae. We postulate that life-history variation and successful recruitment of facultative amphidromous fish such as G. maculatus in river systems is driven by availability of suitable recruitment habitats and natural hydrologic connectivity that allows fish movement to these habitats.