Ontogeny of behaviour relevant to dispersal and connectivity in the larvae of two non-reef demersal, tropical fish species

Leis, Jeffrey M., Piola, Richard F., Hay, Amanda C., Wen, Colin, and Kan, Kun-Ping (2009) Ontogeny of behaviour relevant to dispersal and connectivity in the larvae of two non-reef demersal, tropical fish species. Marine and Freshwater Research, 60 (3). pp. 211-223.

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In demersal marine fishes, the dispersal of larvae determines the geographical scale of population connectivity, and larval behaviour may influence dispersal. Yet, little is known of the ontogeny of behaviours that can influence dispersal. The present study examined the development of these behaviours in pelagic larvae of tropical marine fishes (4–21 mm) that occupy non-reef habitats as adults: Eleutheronema tetradactylum (Polynemidae) and Leiognathus equulus (Leiognathidae). In the laboratory, critical speed (Ucrit) increased from 3 to 34 cm s⁻¹ at 1.3–1.7 cm s⁻¹ per mm of size, with the fastest larvae up to 50% faster. In situ speed increased from 4 to 25 cm s⁻¹ at 0.7–2.2 cm s⁻¹ per mm, and was 10–14 body length s⁻¹ (60–90% of (Ucrit)). Endurance increased from 0 to >40 km at 2.4–4.7 km per mm. In the sea, orientation precision did not change ontogenetically, both species tended to swim in loops, and neither significant overall directionality nor ontogenetic change in orientation was present. Larval orientation of these non-reef species was less precise than that of reef fishes. The two species differed in depth distribution, and one ascended ontogenetically. These behaviours can potentially influence dispersal outcomes over the full size range of these larvae.

Item ID: 31087
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: Leiognathidae, orientation, Polynemidae, swimming speed, vertical distribution
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), DST International Science, Australian Museum
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Grant DP0345876, DST International Science Linkages Grant IAP-IST-CG03-0043
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2014 00:04
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 20%
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