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Spatial distribution and general population characteristics of mysid shrimps in the Westerschelde estuary (SW Netherlands)
Rappé, K.; Fockedey, N.; Van Colen, C.; Cattrijsse, A.; Mees, J.; Vincx, M. (2011). Spatial distribution and general population characteristics of mysid shrimps in the Westerschelde estuary (SW Netherlands). Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 91(2): 187-197.
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

    Body size
    Population characteristics > Population structure > Sex ratio
    Spatial distribution
    Water bodies > Coastal waters > Coastal landforms > Coastal inlets > Estuaries
    Mysida [WoRMS]
    ANE, Nederland, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]; Belgium: Schelde
Author keywords
    Mysida; Westerschelde; estuary; spatial distribution; sex ratio; brood size

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    The distribution and general population characteristics of five mysid shrimps were investigated in the period 2003–2005 in the Westerschelde estuary, a tidal temperate estuary situated along the Dutch–Belgian border. Multivariate analyses revealed that salinity predominantly governs the spatial distribution of Neomysis integer, Gastrosaccus spinifer, Schistomysis kervillei and Schistomysis spiritus while temperature, and to a lesser extent turbidity, control the distribution of Mesopodopsis slabberi. N. integer is a resident species in the mesohaline zone of the estuary, i.e. all life stages of the species are present in the estuary throughout the year. For the first time since decades N. integer inhabits the oligohaline zone of the estuary supposedly as a consequence of improved oxygen conditions in the upstream reaches. M. slabberi, the most abundant mysid in the Westerschelde, dominates the hyperbenthos of the mesohaline zone of the estuary. The polyhaline zone of the estuary is, most abundantly inhabited by M. slabberi, G. spinifer, S. kervillei and to a lesser extent by S. spiritus. The abundance of the latter four species is low in winter, probably due to a migration towards coastal waters to avoid colder temperatures in the estuary combined with an increased mortality after breeding. The sex ratio of all the mysid populations corresponds to the expected 1:1 female:male ratio and no salinity governed segregation is found between the different life stages of each mysid population. A seasonal variation exists in brood size in the N. integer population regardless of the body size, with a larger number of broods during winter and spring compared to the summer. In the other mysid populations the brood sizes vary only with the length of the ovigerous females.

    Our recent observations underline some general characteristics of mysid populations in the Westerschelde and provide novel insights in their life stage and sex specific population segregation, their brood sizes and the expanding upstream distribution of N. integer.

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