Composition of fish communities in macrotidal salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel bay (France) - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science Year : 2000

Composition of fish communities in macrotidal salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel bay (France)


At least 100 fish species are known to be present in the intertidal areas (estuaries, mudflats and salt marshes) of Mont Saint-Michel Bay. These and other comparable shallow marine coastal waters, such as estuaries and lagoons, play a nursery role for many fish species. However, in Europe little attention has been paid to the value of tidal salt marshes for fishes. Between March 1996 and April 1999, 120 tides were sampled in a tidal creek. A total of 31 species were caught. This community was largely dominated by mullets (Liza ramada represent 87% of the total biomass) and sand gobies(Pomatoschistus minutus and P. lozanoi represent 82% of the total numbers). These species and also Gasterosteus aculeatus, Syngnathus rostellatus, Dicentrarchus labrax, Mugil spp., Liza aurata and Sprattus sprattus were the most frequent species (>50% of monthly frequency of occurrence). In Europe, salt marshes and their creeks are flooded only during high spring tides. So, fishes only invade this environment during short immersion periods, and no species can be considered as marsh resident. But, the salt marsh was colonized by fish every time the tide reached the creek, and during the short time of flood, dominant fishes fed actively and exploited the high productivity. Nevertheless, this study shows that there is little interannual variation in the fish community and there are three ‘ seasons ’ in the fish fauna of the marsh. Marine straggler and marine estuarine dependent species colonize marshes between spring (recruitment period in the bay) and autumn before returning into deeper adjacent waters. Estuarine fishes are present all year round with maximum abundances in the end of summer. The presence of fishes confirms that this kind of wetland plays an important trophic and nursery role for these species. Differences in densities and stages distribution of these species into Mont Saint-Michel systems (tidal mudflats, estuaries and tidal salt marshes) can reduce the trophic competition.
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hal-00762011 , version 1 (06-12-2012)



Pascal Laffaille, Eric Feunteun, Jean-Claude Lefeuvre. Composition of fish communities in macrotidal salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel bay (France). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2000, vol. 51, pp. 429-438. ⟨10.1006/ecss.2000.0675⟩. ⟨hal-00762011⟩


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