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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Diverse migration tactics of fishes within the large tropical Mekong River system

Vu, An V.; Baumgartner, Lee J.; Mallen-Cooper, Martin; Doran, Gregory S.; Limburg, Karin E.; Gillanders, Bronwyn M.; Thiem, Jason D.; Howitt, Julia A.; Kewish, Cameron M.; Reinhardt, Juliane; Cowx, Ian G.;


Fish often migrate to feed, reproduce and seek refuge from predators and prevailing environmental conditions. As a result, migration tactics often vary among species based on a diversity of life history needs, although variation within species is increasingly being recognised as important to population resilience. In this study, within- and among-species diversity in life history migratory tactics of six Mekong fish genera was examined using otolith microchemistry to explore diadromous and potamodromous traits. Two species were catadromous and one species was an estuarine resident, while the remaining three species were facultative in their migration strategies, with up to four tactics within a single species. Migrant and resident contingents co-existed within the same species. Management, conservation and mitigation strategies that maintain connectivity in large tropical rivers, such as effective fishway design, should consider a diversity of migration tactics at the individual level for improved outcomes.


Diadromy; fish migration; Mekong River; otolith microchemistry; trace metals

Published in

Fisheries Management and Ecology

2022, volume: 29, number: 5, pages: 708-723
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Vu, An V.
Charles Sturt University
Baumgartner, Lee J.
Charles Sturt University
Mallen-Cooper, Martin
Charles Sturt University
Doran, Gregory S.
Charles Sturt University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Limburg, Karin E. (Limburg, Karin)
State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Gillanders, Bronwyn M.
University of Adelaide
Thiem, Jason D.
Charles Sturt University
Howitt, Julia A.
Charles Sturt University
Kewish, Cameron M.
La Trobe University
Reinhardt, Juliane
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Cowx, Ian G.
University of Hull

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG6 Clean water
SDG14 Life below water

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Aquacultural Science

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