Hicks, B.J. & Tana, R. (2012). Influence of open and closed river systems on the migrations of two northern New Zealand populations of banded kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus). New Zealand Natural Sciences, 37, 24-34.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7418
Otolith microchemical analysis by laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to investigate the migratory life histories of banded kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus) in two streams on the North Island of New Zealand. Known differences in marine and freshwater chemistry were used as a premise to document the migratory life strategies of banded kokopu between these environments. More specifically, temporal trends in high and low strontium/calcium ratios (Sr/Ca) identified in fish otoliths were used to determine evidence of migration between fresh and saltwater environments. Trace element analysis of fish captured above the Whau Valley Reservoir reflected non-migratory life histories and exhibited consistently low Sr/Ca ratios across the entire otolith. However, one fish from above the reservoir indicated unusually high Sr/Ca ratios in early adulthood. These high Sr levels were attributed to localised inputs from mineral-rich seepages associated with past mining practices in the region and low calcium availability within the Pukenui Stream. Otoliths from banded kokopu collected from Komiti Stream were shown to be migratory with a marine larval stage (high Sr/Ca ratio levels at the otolith nucleus), followed by a freshwater adult phase (low Sr/Ca ratio levels towards the edge) indicating their amphidromous origins. The study provides further evidence of non-diadromous recruitment for banded kokopu as a consequence of a large in-stream barrier and will add to the known distribution of landlocked species in New Zealand.
New Zealand Natural Sciences
This article is published in the journal: New Zealand Natural Sciences. © 2012 New Zealand Natural Sciences.