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Combining bio-telemetry and underwater imagery to elucidate the reproductive behaviour of a large, long-lived Australian freshwater teleost

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Butler, G. L., Davis, T. R., Brooks, S. G., Bowen, C., Cameron, L. M., Rowland, S. J., Smith, D., St Vincent Welch, J. and Carpenter-Bundhoo, L. (2022) Combining bio-telemetry and underwater imagery to elucidate the reproductive behaviour of a large, long-lived Australian freshwater teleost. Journal of Environmental Management, 317 . p. 115298. ISSN 0301-4797

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.115298

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479722008714

Abstract

Murray cod Maccullochella peelii (Mitchell) have a key ecological role in ensuring the health of Australia's largest inland waterway, but many aspects surrounding its reproductive strategies in the wild are unknown. From 2015 to 2019 within the Northern Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, we used a combination of bio-telemetry and underwater imagery to quantify the behaviour of Murray cod across their breeding cycle in a natural riverine environment. In most years, breeding behaviour including nest site selection was observed from early-August and spawning from late-August through to late-October, which is considerably earlier than previously reported. There was a positive correlation between the onset of breeding behaviour and week-of-year, and spawning was correlated with moon-phase. Whilst some nesting sites were amongst woody debris and in hollow logs, the majority were located in shallow water on hard substrate underneath undercuts along the riverbank edge. Nests were frequently established in isolated and disconnected pools with little or no measurable flow, suggesting that river hydraulics is not a key component driving spawning of Murray cod across at least some areas of its range. Larvae were observed actively swimming and controlling their position within and near nests and used a scatter tactic when dispersing. We also established that disturbing nesting Murray cod had a negative impact on egg and larval survival. We suggest a review of current regulations to safeguard the long-term conservation of the species across all sections of its range.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Fisheries Queensland
Keywords:Murray cod Maccullochella Nesting-guarding Larvae Flow diversity Riparian zone
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > By region or country > Australia
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery conservation
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery research
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery for individual species
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Technology > Technology (General)
Deposited On:05 Jun 2022 23:40
Last Modified:07 Jun 2022 04:29

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