Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Coorong Fish Hedge Their Bets for Survival

27.03.2015

Analysis of the ear bones of the River Murray estuarine fish black bream has revealed how these fish ‘hedge their bets’ for population survival.

Published in the journal Biology Letters, University of Adelaide research has shown that within this single species of fish there are some individuals which migrate to different parts of the Coorong in South Australia, and some that generally stay in the one location. Black bream are important for recreational and commercial fishing.


Image by Zoe Doubleday, University of Adelaide. Permission to use with this story only.

A sectioned ear bone of black bream showing its growth rings.

“When we consider animal migration, we tend to think of large seasonal migrations of species like the humpback whale or the Arctic tern. We don’t often think of migratory behaviour that varies within populations,” says Professor Bronwyn Gillanders, from the University’s School of Biological Sciences and Environment Institute.

“But it appears that within the black bream Coorong population there is a ‘bet-hedging strategy’ that allows the fish to survive and persist in the Coorong over good times and bad.

“Migration to another area may be more favourable under drought conditions when the water becomes more saline and, conversely, when there is lots of fresh water coming in and there is lots of food readily available, it would be more beneficial for the fish to stay in the location. This probably helps to make the species more resistant to both climate and human-related change.”

The researchers used the ear bones of fish collected throughout the estuary to construct their findings. Fish ear bones provide much information through analysis of the trace elements they contain and the width of their growth rings.

“Like tree growth rings, the ear bones reveal the age of the fish and growth periods which correlate with the growth of the fish itself,” says Professor Gillanders. “When we measure the width of the growth increments, we can trace back to see how fast the fish was growing at a particular time and year.

“The bones can also tell us whether the fish is migratory or ‘resident’ by mapping the ratios of barium against calcium. The higher levels of barium indicate when the fish was in fresher water.”

Professor Gillanders found that 62% of the fish were resident and 38% were migratory. Models were used to investigate differences in annual growth between the two groups and construct a growth time series.

“Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s resident fish had increased growth compared with migrant fish but this changed around 2005 when growth of migrant fish increases,” says Professor Gillanders. “This is likely to be a result of the deteriorating conditions in the Coorong and reflects the ability of the migratory fish to find more favourable conditions and source more food.”

This research was in collaboration with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI.

Media Contact:
Professor Bronwyn Gillanders
Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories
School of Biological Sciences and Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 6235
Mobile: +61 417 036 235
bronwyn.gillanders@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084
robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills | newswise
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>