Seasonal and reproductive migrations in the Creole perch Percichthys trucha (Actinopterygii: Percichthydae) promote both intra-lake and inter-lake habitat connectivity

María Valeria FERNÁNDEZ, Magalí RECHENCQ, Mailén E. LALLEMENT, Eduardo E. ZATTARA, Santiago M. JUAREZ, Alejandro SOSNOVSKY, Gustavo E. LIPPOLT, Marcelo F. Alonso, Pablo H. VIGLIANO, Daniela MILANO, Patricio Jorge MACCHI

Abstract

In this research work, biology of Creole perch, Percichthys trucha, the largest top predator in the North Patagonia’s freshwater communities, in a deep oligotrophic lake in the region, focusing on (i) the differential use of littoral depth strata by age, (ii) age at maturity and spawning season and (iii) occurrence of reproductive migrations to vegetated shorelines has been described. Individuals from 12 locations within the lake were sampled and found that P. trucha makes differential use of the littoral zone through the year and through its life stages. From hatching and through their first year, juveniles prefer shallow vegetated littoral strata; 50% of the individuals have reached maturity at 1-year-old, and all are reproductive by 3-year-old. Overall, our results show that the reproductive behavior of P. trucha improves habitat connectivity between different zones of the lake and between the lake and other lakes connected to it by tributary streams.

Keywords

Patagonia, Reproductive behavior, Spawning season, Habitat connectivity.

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