Habitat utilization and secondary production of the sharp-nosed sand goby Favonigobius gymnauchen around intertidal areas
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The sharp-nosed sand goby Favonigobius gymnauchen is one of the most dominant fish species around tidal flats and sandy beaches in Japan and plays an important role in the food web. To clarify the habitat utilization and secondary production of F. gymnauchen in these waters, we investigated the density, size compositions, feeding, and prey availability in sandy beaches, a muddy sand estuary, and a seagrass bed in Hiroshima Bay, central Seto Inland Sea, Japan. The density of F. gymnauchen was the highest in the estuarine habitat and the lowest in the sandy beaches. They mainly consumed copepods, gammarids, and polychaetes. The body sizes of F. gymnauchen were larger in the estuarine habitat than in the seagrass bed, although prey availability was higher in the seagrass bed than in the estuary. Secondary production of F. gymnauchen was the highest (> 1 g wet weight m−2 year−1) in the estuarine habitat. The growth rate in the estuarine habitat was estimated to be 0.2 mm d−1. In a laboratory experiment in which fish were exposed to various salinity conditions and fed excess food, the feeding and growth of F. gymnauchen were not significantly different at salinities of 5, 15, and 30, and the maximum growth of juveniles at nearly 25 °C was estimated to be 0.2 mm d−1. These results indicate that F. gymnauchen grows at nearly maximum rates in estuarine habitats despite their high density, thereby resulting in the high secondary production of this species.
This study was partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 19K06207.
Environmental Biology of Fishes
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Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life
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