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The shallow water gobiid assemblage of the Venice Lagoon: abundance, seasonal variation and habitat partitioning

Malavasi, S.; Franco, A.; Fiorin, R.; Franzoi, P.; Torricelli, P.; Mainardi, D.


S. Malavasi

A. Franco

R. Fiorin

P. Franzoi

P. Torricelli

D. Mainardi


The gobiid assemblage of the Venice Lagoon shallow waters was investigated by means of a semi-quantitative standardized sampling (using a small beach seine), stratified into five main types of shallow subtidal habitats and conducted on a seasonal basis during 1 year. The degree of overlap in resource utilization among six coexisting goby species was assessed, along both the time axis, by analysing the seasonal variation in abundance and reproductive status (as revealed by the gonado-somatic index) and the habitat axis, by comparing species abundance across different habitat types and controlling for the effects of some abiotic factors. Smaller species, and especially the marbled goby Pomatoschistus marmoratus, dominated the local assemblage. Although the cycle of shallow water colonization and seasonal variation in total abundance were basically similar, species showed differences in timing of reproduction and recruitment, as well as in habitat preference. The larger species belonging to the genera Gobius and Zosterisessor tended to overlap their habitat use, being more abundant in seagrass habitats than in the unvegetated habitats, whereas the smaller species belonging to the genera Knipowitschia and Pomatoschistus avoided seagrasses, preferring in most cases mud flats and salt marsh creeks. Within these two groups of species some further slight differences in species habitat preference, relationship with abiotic factors and reproductive ecology could be detected. Results are discussed in the light of both ecological mechanisms underlying coexistence of closely related species and the current knowledge of the phylogeny of Mediterranean gobies. (c) 2005 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Malavasi, S., Franco, A., Fiorin, R., Franzoi, P., Torricelli, P., & Mainardi, D. (2005). The shallow water gobiid assemblage of the Venice Lagoon: abundance, seasonal variation and habitat partitioning. Journal of fish biology, 67(SUPPL. B), 146-165.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 24, 2005
Publication Date 2005-12
Deposit Date Mar 27, 2019
Journal Journal of Fish Biology
Print ISSN 0022-1112
Electronic ISSN 1095-8649
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 67
Issue SUPPL. B
Pages 146-165
Keywords Abundance; Gobies; Habitat partitioning; Shallow waters
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