Numerical modelling of fish eggs dispersion at the Patos Lagoon estuary, Brazil

Martins, Inês Marina Serra; Dias, João Miguel; Fernandes, Elisa Helena Leão; Muelbert, José Henrique


The Patos Lagoon estuary is the most important nursery ground for commercially relevant species of fish and crustaceans in the South of Brazil, maintaining fisheries that sustain 3500 fisher families throughout the Rio Grande do Sul State coastline. Around 80% of the interior estuarine area is very shallow (b2 m), and recruitment of fish eggs and larvae to the inner parts of the Patos Lagoon estuary is directly related to the circulation pattern in the area, which is controlled by local and non-local wind effects and freshwater discharge. The objective of this study is to investigate the processes controlling the transport of estuarine dependent fish eggs between the Atlantic Ocean and the Patos Lagoon estuary. An integrated numerical system based on a bi-dimensional hydrodynamic model and a Lagrangean transport model of passive particles is applied to a selection of scenarios representing the passage of weather fronts over the area. At this stage, fish eggs are represented as buoyant passive particles. Modelling results are compared against field data for the period under investigation (September/October 1999) and historical records. Short term results are analysed in terms of the meteorological conditions (wind direction, intensity and duration) controlling the transport of eggs to the inner parts of the estuary and the extension of their excursion. This experiment is the first attempt to couple biological and physical information to study fish eggs transport, and to enhance the current knowledge about recruitment of important fisheries resources in southern Brazil. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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  • IO - Artigos publicados em periódicos