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Seasonal pattern and community structure of fishes in the shallow tidal creek of Obitsu-gawa River Estuary of inner Tokyo Bay, central Japan

Keywords: Gobiidae , species richness , species dominance , indicator species

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Abstract:

Seasonal pattern and the community structure of fishes in the shallow tidal creek of ObitsugawaRiver Estuary of inner Tokyo Bay was studied for one year. Family Gobiidae corresponded to 98%of the total catch. Dominant species were Gymnogobius uchidai, Gymnogobius macrognathos,Gymnogobius breunigii, Eutaeniichthys gilli, Pseudogobius masago and Favonigobius gymnauchen.Stepwise modelling in canonical correspondence analysis indicated that season (p=0.02) best explainedthe variation in abundance of fish in this shallow habitat. There was a difference in fish communitybetween spring and summer while only a small difference was observed between summer and autumn aswell as winter and autumn. Species dominance was an inherent property of the tidal creek fishcommunity particularly in spring because of the remarkable abundance of G. uchidai. However, the fishcommunity had the tendency to become proportionately even as the season progresses from spring towinter. The occurrence of a particular life history stage generally showed a strong association with monthand water temperature. Adults substantially contributed to the population size structure of P. masagoand G. uchidai while juvenile 2 for G. breunigii and E. gilli . Larvae significantly contributed to thepopulation size structure of F. gymnauchen while juvenile 1 and juvenile 2 for G. macrognathos. Thecurrent study indicated that natural shallow habitat within a highly urbanized metropolitan area in innerTokyo Bay can serve as a habitat for fishes and the prevalence of certain life history stages of estuarinespecies indicated the importance of the said habitat at certain part of their life history.

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