Living under stressful conditions: Fish life history strategies across environmental gradients in estuaries
Teichert, N. ; Pasquaud, S. ; Borja, A. ; Chust, G. ; Uriarte, A. ; Lepage, M.
Type de document
Article de revue scientifique à comité de lecture
Affiliation de l'auteur
IRSTEA BORDEAUX UR EABX FRA ; UNIVERSIDAD DE LISBOA MARE LISBOA PRT ; AZTI MARINE RESEARCH DIVISION PASAIA ESP ; AZTI MARINE RESEARCH DIVISION PASAIA ESP ; AZTI MARINE RESEARCH DIVISION PASAIA ESP ; IRSTEA BORDEAUX UR EABX FRA
Résumé / Abstract
The life history strategies of fishes can be defined by specific combinations of demographic traits that influence species performances depending on environmental features. Hence, the constraints imposed by the local conditions restrict the range of successful strategies by excluding species poorly adapted. In the present study, we compared the demographic strategies of fish caught in 47 estuaries of the North East Atlantic coast, aiming to determine the specific attributes of resident species and test for changes in trait associations along the environmental gradients. Eight demographic traits were considered to project our findings within a conceptual triangular model, composed on three endpoint strategies: (i) periodic (large size, long generation time, high fecundity); (ii) opportunistic (small size, short generation time, high reproductive effort); and (iii) equilibrium (low fecundity, large egg size, parental care). We demonstrated that various life history strategies co-exist in estuaries, but equilibrium species were scarce and restricted to euhaline open-water. Resident species form a specialised assemblage adapted to high spatiotemporal variability of estuarine conditions, i.e. opportunistic attributes associated with parental care. Even with these singular attributes, our findings revealed changes in distribution of resident species across the estuarine gradients linked to their life history traits. Among other patterns, the diversity of life history strategies significantly decreased from euhaline to oligohaline areas and along gradient of human disturbances. These trends were associated with a convergence of species traits to- ward short generation times, suggesting that long-lived species with late maturation are more severely impacted by disturbance and environmental stress.
Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, vol. 188, p. 18 - 26