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An investigation of koi carp (Cyprinus carpio) movement in the Waikato region using laser ablation otolith microchemistry

Abstract
The koi carp Cyprinus carpio is an invasive fish that has reached high numbers and biomass in the North Island of New Zealand, particularly in the Waikato region. This species has a variety of negative effects on aquatic ecosystems, increasing turbidity, uprooting aquatic macrophytes, and affecting water column nutrient levels. Recent research in Australia and New Zealand has shown that adult carp, though largely restricted to small scale movements, are capable of moving long distances. Movement in adult carp may be underestimated by these studies, and comparatively little is known about the movement of smaller carp. This study examined the feasibility of using laser ablation otolith microchemistry to track koi carp movement and identify spawning areas. Water samples from six locations (Lake Waahi, Lake Whangape, Lake Waikare, the Whangamarino River, and the Waikato River at Aka Aka and Rangiriri) were analysed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Significant differences between sites were found in the water concentrations of many elements. Koi carp were collected from the above locations, as well as from Opuatia Stream, Pungarehu Stream, the Maramarua River and Lake Hakanoa. The elemental concentrations in the asteriscus otoliths were analysed using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA‐ICP-MS). Elemental concentrations in the edges and nuclei of adult koi carp and the edges of young-of-the-year (YOY) koi carp were significantly different between capture sites. No significant differences were found in elemental concentrations between sites in the nuclei of YOY koi carp. A discriminant function analysis (DFA) was carried out using the otolith edge elemental signatures of koi carp. The model used Ba, Sr, Mg, Rb and Zn concentrations to differentiate between four capture locations: the Waikato River, Pungarehu Stream, Lake Waahi, and Lake Waikare and Pungarehu Stream. The DFA was able to correctly predict the capture location of 82% of koi carp using their otolith edge elemental signatures. The classification functions created using koi carp otolith edge signatures were then used as a training set to classify otolith nucleus signatures. The otolith nuclei of 80% of YOY koi carp were classified to their site of capture, suggesting they had not moved between locations. The majority of adult koi carp caught at Lake Waikare, Whangamarino River, Pungarehu Stream and Opuatia Stream had nucleus signatures matching their capture sites, indicating that these fish originated from their capture location. Koi carp from other sites likely moved there from another location. The majority of adult koi carp (88%) caught at the Waikato River at Rangiriri had otolith nucleus signatures matching Lake Waikare and Pungarehu Stream. Adult koi carp caught at Lake Waahi and the Waikato River at Aka Aka had otolith signatures corresponding to a range of locations. While some areas (Lake Waikare, Pungarehu Stream) appear to have resident koi carp populations that likely originated there, others (Lake Waahi, the Waikato River) appear to have koi carp populations of mixed origin. These results indicate that Lake Waikare, Pungarehu Stream and the Whangamarino River may be important sources of koi carp recruits in the lower Waikato region.
Type
Thesis
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Blair, J. M. (2008). An investigation of koi carp (Cyprinus carpio) movement in the Waikato region using laser ablation otolith microchemistry (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2765
Date
2008
Publisher
The University of Waikato
Supervisors
Rights
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