Biodiversité des poissons estuariens de l'Ile de Socotra (Nord-Ouest de l'Océan Indien) : du peuplement ichtyologique au fonctionnement des populations de Terapon jarbua

Abstract : Understanding connectivity between estuarine nurseries and marine habitats is fundamental to explore fish population dynamics and to the design of effective conservation and fisheries management strategies. The aim of this work was to provide the first faunistic and ecological baseline of Socotra Island (North-Western Indian Ocean) estuaries and lagoon fishes for governmental coastal managers and decision makers, with a particular focus on the population functioning of a sentinel species: Terapon jarbua. In this study, a multidisciplinary approach was developed to understand the functioning and importance of Socotra estuaries (TOCE's: Temporarily Open / Close Estuaries) and lagoons for marine fishes. Several biological and chemical tools (taxonomy, ecology, phylogenetics, population genetics, otolith microstructure, otolith microchemistry) were used and the main findings of this work are as follows: 1) Socotra estuaries are composed of 64 species in 30 families, a high figure by regional standards. The comparison with faunistic records from South Africa and Yemen mainland provides further support to Socotra's function as a biogeographic "stepping stone" for certain species. Moreover 33 out of the 64 recorded species were considered as relevant species for the local economy. This underscores the paramount importance of these coastal water bodies as spawning and nursery sites and for the sustainability of vital provisioning ecosystem services. 2) The phylogeography and the genetic structure of T. jarbua populations were analyzed considering Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I and microsatellites and underlined two patterns of genetic structure. A high and significant genetic differentiation was observed at the scale of the Indo-West Pacific. Three population clusters could be drawn, the North-Western Indian Ocean cluster (Socotra, Yemen and Iran), the West Indian Shelf cluster and the Chinese Sea cluster. However, the large number of nucleotide differences raised some issues concerning the species identification as T. jarbua might be a species complex, despite the fact that it shows a characteristic color pattern easily identifiable. At the restricted scale of the North-Western Indian Ocean, recent population expansion after local extinctions during the Pleistocene glaciations might explain small but significant genetic differentiation. Considering microsatellites, genotyping highlighted a relatively high and significant genetic differentiation between estuaries, over the Socotra-Yemen region. Geographical distance is not a major structuring factor for T. jarbua populations in the wider Gulf of Aden region. The strict link between juvenile T. jarbua and TOCE's, and the opening/closing associated with possible demographic bottlenecks, could increase the local differentiation among estuaries. Although the dynamic environment of the region driven by the monsoon system could reduce the genetic differentiation between populations, the short larval stage duration and potential larval retention in particular sectors might reduce homogenization over larger geographical scale. 3) The analysis of otolith nucleus elemental composition suggested the existence of several marine spawning grounds, thus confirming the population genetics approach suggesting a regional model of metapopulation composed of open subpopulations (i.e. multiple sources and more or less pronounced mixtures of larval flows displaying a spatio-temporal variability). In addition, transect Sr:Ba ratio analysis along the otolith growth axis showed clear pattern of post larval migrations into estuarine nurseries where individuals remain for two years. Finally, otolith edges elemental fingerprint assignation tests to nurseries were highly accurate and could conduct in the future to the assessment of the contribution level of a particular nursery to the adult population of T. jarbua as well as others ecologically or economically important species.
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Edouard Lavergne. Biodiversité des poissons estuariens de l'Ile de Socotra (Nord-Ouest de l'Océan Indien) : du peuplement ichtyologique au fonctionnement des populations de Terapon jarbua. Sciences de la Terre. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012BRES0093⟩. ⟨tel-00806383v2⟩

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