Caractérisation des mouvements de l'anguille d'Amérique (Anguilla rostrata) dans le Saint-Laurent à partir de profils microchimiques des otolithes

Authors: Benchetrit, José
Advisor: Dodson, Julian J.Castonguay, Martin
Abstract: A number of papers published during the last 15 years have reshaped our long-held understanding of the lifecycle of anguillid eels. Catadromy among anguillids appears to be facultative with some individuals carrying out their growth stage exclusively in brackish or coastal marine waters, or even making movements between these and freshwater. For the present study, multi-element line scans were obtained, using LA ICP-MS, from the otoliths of 110 eels sampled at various locations throughout the Saint Lawrence River Lake Ontario (SLRLO) system in an attempt to retrace habitat use during their growth stage. Elemental profiles for strontium (88Sr), barium (138Ba), manganese (55Mn) and magnesium (24Mg) enabled us to distinguish three chemical signatures that might represent distinct habitats within the SLRLO. One of these was shown to likely correspond to the brackish estuary. Approximately 10% of eels were observed to make use of this estuarine habitat after recruiting to the system as elvers. These individuals were sampled at the three most downstream sites suggesting that individuals recruiting to the upper reaches of the system tend to remain in fresh water. Interpretation of the other two freshwater habitats was much less straightforward but these might correspond to marshland and open water areas. Most (78%) of the habitat switches occurred within the first 4 years after recruiting as elvers suggesting an increasing likelihood for eels to settle in one habitat as they grow older. The fact that our results indicate that yellow eels can undertake within-river movements on the order of at least 200 km has important implications for the management and conservation of this species.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2013
Open Access Date: 19 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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