Variation in habitat use along the freshwater-marine continuum by grey mullet Mugil cephalus at the southern limits of its distribution
Gruijter, C. de
MetadataShow full item record
In this study, habitat use by Mugil cephalus was investigated in the waters of the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand by analysing microchemical composition of otoliths (laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) obtained from individuals from commercial fish stocks and research surveys. Results of this study show that M. cephalus at the southern limits of its distribution display highly flexible migratory behaviour with extensive use of freshwater and brackish habitats, potentially enabling them to maximize foraging opportunities. Mugil cephalus can tolerate a wide range of salinities and can therefore utilize higher productivity areas, such as estuaries and eutrophic riverine lakes. Finally, M. cephalus populations across a range of climates and latitudes appear to differ in the extent to which they utilize freshwater and brackish habitats, possibly with increasing penetration of fresh waters with increasing latitude.