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Research tools to investigate movements, migrations, and life history of sturgeons (Acipenseridae), with an emphasis on marine-oriented populations.

Nelson TC, Doukakis P, Lindley ST, Schreier AD, Hightower JE, Hildebrand LR, Whitlock RE, Webb MA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management.A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood.We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Worldwide, sturgeons (Acipenseridae) are among the most endangered fishes due to habitat degradation, overfishing, and inherent life history characteristics (long life span, late maturation, and infrequent spawning). As most sturgeons are anadromous, a considerable portion of their life history occurs in estuarine and marine environments where they may encounter unique threats (e.g., interception in non-target fisheries). Of the 16 marine-oriented species, 12 are designated as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and these include species commercially harvested. We review important research tools and techniques (tagging, electronic tagging, genetics, microchemistry, observatory) and discuss the comparative utility of these techniques to investigate movements, migrations, and life-history characteristics of sturgeons. Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management. Through studies that include Gulf (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) and Green Sturgeon (A. medirostris), we illustrate what is known about well-studied species and then explore lesser-studied species. A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood. We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

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Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi).Photo: Joe Hightower.
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pone-0071552-g001: Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi).Photo: Joe Hightower.

Mentions: There are 27 species of sturgeons and paddlefishes (Order Acipenseriformes) in rivers, lakes, estuaries, near-shore oceanic environments, and inland seas across the northern hemisphere (Table 1). The two species of paddlefishes (Family Polyodontidae) are strictly freshwater in life history while the 25 sturgeon (Family Acipenseridae) species include 16 species that enter into estuaries, oceans, or seas during some part of their life cycle. Sturgeons have five rows of bony scutes and snouts with sensory barbels (Figure 1). All sturgeons spawn in freshwater habitats. The 16 marine-oriented species (species that spend a significant portion of their life history in marine environments) occur on all of the continents to which sturgeons are endemic, including North America, Europe, and Asia.


Research tools to investigate movements, migrations, and life history of sturgeons (Acipenseridae), with an emphasis on marine-oriented populations.

Nelson TC, Doukakis P, Lindley ST, Schreier AD, Hightower JE, Hildebrand LR, Whitlock RE, Webb MA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi).Photo: Joe Hightower.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3750015&req=5

pone-0071552-g001: Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi).Photo: Joe Hightower.
Mentions: There are 27 species of sturgeons and paddlefishes (Order Acipenseriformes) in rivers, lakes, estuaries, near-shore oceanic environments, and inland seas across the northern hemisphere (Table 1). The two species of paddlefishes (Family Polyodontidae) are strictly freshwater in life history while the 25 sturgeon (Family Acipenseridae) species include 16 species that enter into estuaries, oceans, or seas during some part of their life cycle. Sturgeons have five rows of bony scutes and snouts with sensory barbels (Figure 1). All sturgeons spawn in freshwater habitats. The 16 marine-oriented species (species that spend a significant portion of their life history in marine environments) occur on all of the continents to which sturgeons are endemic, including North America, Europe, and Asia.

Bottom Line: Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management.A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood.We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Worldwide, sturgeons (Acipenseridae) are among the most endangered fishes due to habitat degradation, overfishing, and inherent life history characteristics (long life span, late maturation, and infrequent spawning). As most sturgeons are anadromous, a considerable portion of their life history occurs in estuarine and marine environments where they may encounter unique threats (e.g., interception in non-target fisheries). Of the 16 marine-oriented species, 12 are designated as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and these include species commercially harvested. We review important research tools and techniques (tagging, electronic tagging, genetics, microchemistry, observatory) and discuss the comparative utility of these techniques to investigate movements, migrations, and life-history characteristics of sturgeons. Examples are provided regarding what the applications have revealed regarding movement and migration and how this information can be used for conservation and management. Through studies that include Gulf (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) and Green Sturgeon (A. medirostris), we illustrate what is known about well-studied species and then explore lesser-studied species. A more complete picture of migration is available for North American sturgeon species, while European and Asian species, which are among the most endangered sturgeons, are less understood. We put forth recommendations that encourage the support of stewardship initiatives to build awareness and provide key information for population assessment and monitoring.

Show MeSH