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Temporal patterns in growth and survival of the round goby Neogobius melanostomus

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Monthly, overwinter and annual instantaneous growth rates for round goby Neogobius melanostomus were calculated with maximal growth occurring in July and August and almost no growth observed between ice appearance (October) and melt (March). Annual absolute growth rates averaged 27·3 ± 1·9 mm for males and 19·8 ± 2·4 mm for females. The most parsimonious Cormack–Jolly–Seber model indicated that both the survival and recapture probabilities were dependent on sampling date, but not sex. Survival estimates remained high throughout the 13 month study with a median weekly survival probability of 0·920 (25 and 75% quartiles: 0·767 and 0·991), an overwinter survival probability of 99% and an annual survival rate of 67%. Survival probabilities were lowest for both sexes near the completion of the N. melanostomus reproductive season in July and August which supports existing evidence of higher mortality after reproduction, while challenging the paradigm that male N. melanostomus suffer comparatively higher mortality as a result of reproduction than females. Evidence indicating that growth and mortality rates are highest at the end of the reproductive season not only highlights seasonal variability in N. melanostomus natural history, but may also guide the control of this invasive species to periods when they are most vulnerable.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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