Production of fish communities in 15 different-types estuaries was assessed based on the data collected as a result of 90 surveys (860 seine stations) conducted in Primorye in 2002–2015. The main contribution to production was made by semi-anadromous species (the so-iuy mullet Liza haematocheilus, Far Eastern redfins Tribolodon spp., and Japanese smelt Hypomesus nipponensis, etc.). In both external (EP ext) and internal (EP int) polyhaline estuaries (EP) a substantial portion of the production was provided by resident marine species (mainly by the saffron cod Eleginus gracilis, Far Eastern smooth flounder Liopsetta pinnifasciata, and tidepool gunnel Pholis nebulosa) and southern immigrants (flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus, dotted gizzard shad Konosirus punctatus, Japanese halfbeak Hyporhamphus sajori, and Pacific needlefish Strongylura anastomella). In mesohaline (EM) and oligohaline (EO) estuaries, the proportion of marine residents and southern immigrants was reduced to a minimum, while that of freshwater species (bighead gudgeon Gobio macrocephalus, Prussian carp Carassius gibelio, minnow Phoxinus spp., Amur bitterling Rhodeus sericeus, spiny bitterlings Acanthorhodeus spp., etc.) substantially added to the production of semi-anadromous fish. The mean fish biomass for the vegetation season varied in the 143–1463 mgC/m2 range; the mean annual production was 174–4267 mgC/m2 and the mean P/B ratio was 0.2–3.2. In 2007, the high annual production in the Artemovka River estuary, 9356 mgC/m2, was formed by the juvenile so-iuy mullet of the strong yearclass that hatched in 2006. The lowest mean production and P/B values were typical mainly for the water bodies with a salinity more often close to that of the barrier zones (5–8‰ for α-horohalinicum and 22–26‰ for β-horohalinicum), i.e., for EM and EP ext. This relationship is explained by the features of the osmotic regulation in fish of various origins and its ontogenetic variations. In particularly, the salinity in EM is more frequently close to the critical salinity (5–8‰, α-horohalinicum); thus, the proportion of juveniles of most of the species in the catches decreases (as their resistance to salinity variations is lower). This results in higher mean values of the specific and absolute production of fish communities in EP int and EO as compared to those in EM. The conclusion was made that the estimates of fish production in the estuaries of Primorye are similar to those in the well-studied estuaries of the temperate, subtropical, and tropical zones. Moreover, they are comparable to the fish production estimates for mesotrophic and eutrophic lakes in northwestern Russia, substantially lower than those for large lowland rivers, and higher than those for small rivers. The fish production in seas, including the Japan/East Sea (0.20 gC/m2) and, particularly, Peter the Great Bay (0.28 gC/m2), is mostly lower than that in Primorye estuaries.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 8, 2017
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