We examined the spawning sites of several gobiid fishes in the subtidal zone of a small temperate estuary and determined the relationship of the nest abundance of each species with several environmental conditions, including water temperature, salinity, median particle size, proportion of silt and clay, current width, maximum water depth, distance from each site to the river mouth, and density of objects (boulders, cobbles, empty oyster shells, and empty clam shells) in the water. During this study, we found 115 nests belonging to the following six species: Favonigobius gymnauchen, Tridentiger obscurus, Leucopsarion petersii, Acanthogobius lactipes, Rhinogobius giurinus, and Tridentiger trigonocephalus. Stepwise multiple regression analysis, which was used to determine the best model for the nest abundance of all species, revealed that the nest abundance of each species clearly increased with an increase in the density of spawning substrates, such as cobbles and bivalve shells. These results show that the density of spawning substrates is a crucial factor affecting the selection of spawning habitats by each species.
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