Reproductive cycle and the related spatial and temporal distribution of the ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius L.) in Puck Bay
The cycle of gonad development and related changes in the length structure and spatial-temporal distribution of ninespine sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius L.) in Puck Bay were studied. Observations were carried out in the shallow shore zones, as well as in the deeper epipelagic zone of the Bay. Ninespine sticklebacks reproduce in the brackish environment of Puck Bay, breeding in its warmer, inshore zones. Reproduction takes place in the spring and summer months, from April to July. One female spawns several clutches of eggs during one breeding season. The average length of ninespine sticklebacks in Puck Bay was about 40 mm, and the sex ratio in the population was close to 1:1. However, both length structure and sex ratio were subject to local and periodic variations, resulting from possible breeding-related territorial divisions. Higher gonadosomatic indices in females in early spring represented the transition of fish to the advanced vitelligenous phase. The lowest GSI of males during the breeding season indicated the termination of spermatogenesis. The completion of spawning in August started a new process of gonad restoration to prepare the fish for the next breeding season.
Bibliogr. 28 poz., tab., wykr.