Get access

The ways in which fish use estuaries: a refinement and expansion of the guild approach

Authors

  • Ian C Potter,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia
    • Correspondence:

      Ian C Potter, Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Perth, WA 6150, Australia

      Tel.: +61 (0) 8 92398801

      Fax: +61 (0) 8 92398899

      E-mail: i.potter@murdoch.edu.au

    Search for more papers by this author
  • James R Tweedley,

    1. Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Michael Elliott,

    1. Institute of Estuarine & Coastal Studies, University of Hull, Hull, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Alan K Whitfield

    1. South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown, South Africa
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

This study refines, clarifies and, where necessary, expands details of the guild approach developed by Elliott et al. (2007, Fish and Fisheries 8: 241–268) for the ways in which fish use estuaries. The estuarine usage functional group is now considered to comprise four categories, that is, marine, estuarine, diadromous and freshwater, with each containing multiple guilds. Emphasis has been placed on ensuring that the terminology and definitions of the guilds follow a consistent pattern, on highlighting the characteristics that identify the different guilds belonging to the estuarine category and in clarifying issues related to amphidromy. As the widely employed term ‘estuarine dependent’ has frequently been imprecisely used, the proposal that the species found in estuaries can be regarded as either obligate or facultative users of these systems is supported and considered in the guild context. Thus, for example, species in the five guilds comprising the diadromous category and those in the guilds containing species or populations confined to estuaries are obligate users, whereas those in the marine and freshwater estuarine-opportunistic guilds are facultative users.

Ancillary