Development of swimming abilities in reef fish larvae

Fisher, Rebecca, Bellwood, David R., and Job, Suresh (2000) Development of swimming abilities in reef fish larvae. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 202. pp. 163-173.

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Recent studies have revealed that reef fish larvae have excellent sustained swimming capabilities and considerable potential for modifying their dispersal patterns by active swimming. However, these studies concentrate solely on the late pelagic phase. We examined the development of swimming abilities from hatching through to settlement in 3 reef fish species (Pomacentrus amboinensis, Sphaeramia nematoptera, Amphiprion melanopus). Larval rearing provided larvae at all stages of development. Experiments were conducted in flow chambers designed for measuring the critical and sustained swimming capability of young larvae. In all 3 species, critical swimming ability increased steadily with age, size, relative propulsive area and developmental stage of the larvae. In contrast, sustained swimming ability showed a marked inflection during development. Differences among species throughout development appear to reflect variations in the developmental patterns of the 3 species. Propulsive area was highly correlated with swimming ability and may prove useful for estimating swimming capabilities among species. The results suggest that some species have the potential to actively modify their dispersal patterns from an early age.

Item ID: 12941
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0171-8630
Keywords: Development; Dispersal; Fish Larvae; Morphology; Reef fish; Swimming
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2012 04:51
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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