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Article

Factors Influencing Abundances and Population Size Structure of the Threatened and Endemic Cyprinodont Aphanius iberus in Mediterranean Brackish Ponds

1
Aquatic Ecology Group, University of Vic—Central University of Catalonia, 08500 Barcelona, Spain
2
Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain
3
Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB UMR 5174), Université de Tolouse, CNRS, IRD, UPS, 118 Route de Narbonne, F-31062 Tolouse, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3264; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113264
Received: 29 October 2020 / Revised: 16 November 2020 / Accepted: 17 November 2020 / Published: 21 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Conservation of Freshwater Fishes Biodiversity)
Aphanius iberus is an endemic cyprinodontoid fish species of Mediterranean ponds in danger of extinction. In this study, we studied some abiotic and biotic factors that can influence A. iberus’s size structure and density in Mediterranean brackish ponds. We sampled fish using fyke nets in 10 ponds of Empordà (Spain) during the spring season. Our results showed that a better ecological status (according to the Water Quality of Lentic and Shallow Ecosystems (QAELS) index), pond’s depth and pond’s isolation (reflected by an increase in total nitrogen) were related to larger individual sizes and more size-diverse populations. Increasing the salinity is known to help the euryhaline A. iberus acting as a refuge from competitors. Nevertheless, our results showed that higher conductivities had a negative effect on A. iberus’s size structure, leading to a decrease in the mean and maximum size of the fish. Fish abundance (expressed as captures per unit of effort (CPUE)) seemed to increase with increasing the pond’s depth and total nitrogen (the latter reflecting pond isolation). In conclusion, our results suggest that achieving a better pond ecological status may be important for the conservation of endangered A. iberus, because better size-structured populations (i.e., larger mean and average lengths) were found at higher water quality conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mediterranean ponds; fish; Aphanius iberus; size structure; ecological status Mediterranean ponds; fish; Aphanius iberus; size structure; ecological status
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sgarzi, S.; Brucet, S.; Bartrons, M.; Arranz, I.; Benejam, L.; Badosa, A. Factors Influencing Abundances and Population Size Structure of the Threatened and Endemic Cyprinodont Aphanius iberus in Mediterranean Brackish Ponds. Water 2020, 12, 3264. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113264

AMA Style

Sgarzi S, Brucet S, Bartrons M, Arranz I, Benejam L, Badosa A. Factors Influencing Abundances and Population Size Structure of the Threatened and Endemic Cyprinodont Aphanius iberus in Mediterranean Brackish Ponds. Water. 2020; 12(11):3264. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113264

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sgarzi, Serena; Brucet, Sandra; Bartrons, Mireia; Arranz, Ignasi; Benejam, Lluís; Badosa, Anna. 2020. "Factors Influencing Abundances and Population Size Structure of the Threatened and Endemic Cyprinodont Aphanius iberus in Mediterranean Brackish Ponds" Water 12, no. 11: 3264. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113264

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