versão impressa ISSN 0185-3880
IBANEZ, AL et al. Diversity of migratory environmental history of the mullets Mugil cephalus and M. curema in Mexican coastal waters as indicated by otolith Sr:Ca ratios. Cienc. mar [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.1a, pp. 73-87. ISSN 0185-3880.
To understand their migratory environmental history and habitat use in Mexican waters, 31 striped mullet Mugil cephalus and 40 white mullet M. curema (family Mugilidae) were collected from three habitats (Tamiahua Lagoon, and Cazones and Tecolutla estuaries, Veracruz) in the western Gulf of Mexico. Sr:Ca ratios in otoliths of mullets were measured from the primordium to the otolith edge with an electron probe microanalyzer. Mullets were aged by counting the otolith annuli. The patterns in mullet otolith Sr:Ca ratio differed among habitats and between species, indicating that habitat use and migratory behavior differed between species. Variability in otolith Sr:Ca ratios was consistent with that of the environment inhabited by the mullets. They showed a more diverse euryhaline preference than the simple catadromous behavior expected. The Sr:Ca ratios in the core region of the otolith indicated that mullets can spawn in both offshore waters and nearshore brackish waters, or that spawning may occur in offshore waters and that onshore currents/winds carry the fertilized eggs into onshore waters where salinities are lower. Peak Sr:Ca ratios corresponded to otolith annulus deposition, which validated the difference in timing of seaward spawning migration between striped mullet (winter) and white mullet (spring).
Palavras-chave : Mugil cephalus; Mugil curema; otolith; Sr:Ca ratios; migratory environmental history.