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Gayana (Concepción)

On-line version ISSN 0717-6538


SOBENES, Catterina; LINK, Oscar  and  HABIT, Evelyn. Density-dependent microhabitat selection in Galaxias platei: an experimental study. Gayana (Concepc.) [online]. 2013, vol.77, n.1, pp.35-42. ISSN 0717-6538.

Galaxias platei is the most broadly distributed fish specie in the Chilean Patagonia that inhabits in rivers and mainly in lakes systems. It occurs on varied habitats from clay platforms to thin substrates with presence of macrophytes, large woody debris and big boulders substrata. In this work we experimentally analyzed the microhabitat use of G. platei with dependence of refuge availability and fish density. We conduct experiments at different refuge levels for different fish densities. We build refuge microhabitat using boulders (thick substrate) and aquatic vegetation, and microhabitat without refuge using gravel (thin substrate) and slab stone to simulate a clay substrate. Fish densities tested were 4, 8, 12 and 16 individuals. G. platei select microhabitats with refuge at all densities tested, changing preference from vegetation to boulders at increasing density. Whereas, significant selection against to all microhabitats without refuge at all densities. Density dependent use of microhabitat and the tendency to a gregarious behavior at high fish density, suggest an antidepredatory behavior of the specie.

Keywords : Experimentation; refuge; intraspecific interaction; native fishes; Patagonia.

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