Brazilian Journal of Oceanography
Print version ISSN 1679-8759
POMBO, Maíra; DENADAI, Marcia Regina and TURRA, Alexander. Population biology of Stellifer rastrifer, S. brasiliensis and S. stellifer in Caraguatatuba Bay, northern coast of São Paulo, Brazil. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2012, vol.60, n.3, pp. 271-282. ISSN 1679-8759. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592012000300001.
Ecosystems may reflect environmental changes in many respects, from the debilitation of individuals to alterations in community composition. Equally, population parameters may provide reliable indications of environmental changes. Members of the sciaenid fish genus Stellifer are usually very abundant where they occur, often with two or more species living in sympatry. Here, the population dynamics of three Stellifer species from southeastern Brazil were assessed. Sampling was carried out in shallow marine areas of Caraguatatuba Bay, from August 2003 to October 2004. The species evaluated were Stellifer rastrifer (n=3183), S. brasiliensis (n=357) and S. stellifer (n=116). The area under greater continental influence tended to support more, but smaller individuals. Size variations over time were similar among species and negatively correlated with Krel, which showed smooth fluctuations. The general length-frequency distribution was concentrated between 6.0 and 9.0 cm, and the great majority of females did not present mature gonads during the sampling period. The findings support the existence of a stratification by size for these species, indicating that the area is essential for the development of younger fish. Failure to consider these characteristics for the management of similar areas may have serious implications for these environments.
Keywords : Stellifer; sympatric species; shallow continental shelf waters; spatio-temporal distribution; sexual characterization; weight-length relationship.