Influence of environmental factors on the spawning of sciaenids in the Buenos Aires Coastal Zone, Argentina

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Maria Inés Militelli
Karina Andrea Rodrigues
Federico Cortés
Gustavo Javier Macchi


The fish community in coastal waters of the Buenos Aires Province is dominated by seven sciaenid species: Micropogonias furnieri, Cynoscion guatucupa, Macrodon ancylodon, Pogonias cromis, Umbrina canosai, Paralonchurus brasiliensis, and Menticirrhus americanus. The relation between sciaenid spawning females and environmental factors was examined in order to describe the spawning strategy of these species in Argentine coastal waters. Sciaenid species were classified into three groups according to the thermohaline range of the spawning areas: (a) estuarine spawners associated with the bottom salinity front comprised those species that spawned in the inner area of the estuary in accordance with the main horizontal salinity gradients at the bottom (M. furnieri, M. ancylodon, and P. chromis); (b) estuarine spawners not associated with the bottom salinity front comprised those species that spawned mainly in the middle of the estuary, in brackish water with salinities ranging from 24 to 30 (P. brasiliensis and M. americanus); and (c) marine spawners comprised those species that always spawned in salt water (salinity values higher than 30) in the outer area of the Río de la Plata Estuary or El Rincón, in the southern part of Buenos Aires Province (C. guatucupa, U. canosai, and M. furnieri). Micropogonias furnieri, the most abundant sciaenid in Argentina that presents the highest latitudinal distribution, can behave as a marine or estuarine spawner depending on the environmental characteristics. This allows it to make better use of each ecosystem and thus increase its survival chances. 

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