Maturation is one of the most important life history traits that influences on many ecological characteristics of animals. This study aimed to describe the indirect distinguish of first reproduction and habitat shift (transition from the pelagic to benthic environment), using the width of translucent and annuluses of the pectoral fin spine of two sturgeon species, Persian sturgeon, Acipenser persicus, and starry sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus. Interpretation of growth bands in pectoral fin sections was done objectively using direct reading of thin sections and image analysis. The results showed that changes in the profiles of translucent and annuluses occurred at the time of habitat shift and first reproduction. Females of both sturgeons move to the deeper waters earlier than males, which can be considered as strategy for the prolonged gonad development of female individuals. Estimated age at maturity for A. persicus (9 years for female and 7 years for male) was higher than A. stellatus (7 years for female and 6 years for male), which coincide with abrupt reduction in annuli width. Marks of habitat shift and first reproduction in the pectoral fin spine are species-specific characters and enable life history traits to be identified.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 23, 2017
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