Spawning aggregation behaviour in the Creole perch, Percichthys trucha (Percithyidae): a target species of conservation
FERNANDEZ, M. V.; MACCHI , PATRICIO J.; SOSNOVSKY, A.; ZATTARA, E.; LALLEMENT, M.; MILANO, D.
AQUATIC CONSERVATION-MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS
JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
Lugar: LOndres; Año: 2021 vol. 31 p. 3248 - 3260
1.Littoral zones within Patagonian lakes, especially shallow vegetated areas, represent important areas for the Creole perch, Percichthys trucha. In the spawning season they migrate to these shallow environments, which function as spawning and nursery sites. However, spawning behaviour has been little studied, and it is not known whether these movements are performed in groups. One particular area of a deep lake in Northern Patagonia was therefore studied to identify the environmental conditions under which spawning occurs, and to analyse spawning aggregation behaviour in relation to the lunar cycle.2.To identify spawning site, spawning occurrence time and the environmental parameters that determine it, fish capture was analysed. Moreover, underwater cameras were set up in three depth strata in the shallow zone to detect spawning aggregation behaviour. Aggregation was scored as the greatest number of individuals present in a single frame, and number present per depth strata. Finally, the relation between lunar cycle and Creole perch abundance by depth was analysed.3.This study provides the first visual record of a spawning bed and the spawning aggregation behaviour of Creole perch in Patagonian lakes. Mature Creole perch abundance in the shallow strata during the austral spring suggests that vegetated areas constitute spawning sites, and that spawning aggregation takes place two days before the full moon, at a shallow depth.4.Spawning aggregation behaviour in Creole perch was identified, and its association with the lunar cycle during the austral spring. Knowledge of reproductive behaviour and spawning sites are key to conservation of the species, since their reproductive success and population stability depend on it.5.The use of remote cameras facilitated this study, whose results provide vital information that will inform management decisions, promoting the conservation of spawning areas and preservation of the Creole perch population.