Interannual variation in the larval development of a coral reef fish in response to temperature and associated environmental factors

McLeod, Ian M., Jones, Rhondda E., Jones, Geoffrey P., Takahashi, Miwa, and McCormick, Mark I. (2017) Interannual variation in the larval development of a coral reef fish in response to temperature and associated environmental factors. Marine Biology, 162. pp. 2379-2389.

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Abstract

Climate change is predicted to increase ocean temperatures and influence weather patterns. Here, we examine the influence of temperature and other environmental variables on key early life traits of the coral reef damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis, based on ten cohorts of newly settled fish collected over 13 years from around Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia). Pelagic larval duration (PLD), larval growth and size at settlement were estimated through otolith microstructure analysis. Multiple regression techniques were used to measure the strength of the associations between these traits and developmental temperature, rain, wind speed and solar radiation. Temperature accounted for 18.4, 26.7 and 25.0 % of the variability in PLD, growth rates and settlement size, respectively. PLDs generally declined and growth rates generally increased with increasing temperatures to ~28 °C, above which PLDs tended to increase and growth rates tended to decrease. Size at settlement did not differ between ~25 and ~28 °C, but tended to decrease with increasing temperature above ~28 °C. Together rain, wind speed and solar radiation explained 6.3, 26.3 and 33.7 % of the remaining variability in PLD, growth rates and size at settlement, respectively. Higher wind speeds were generally associated with longer PLDs. Increasing wind, high rainfall and increasing solar radiation were associated with slower growth rates and smaller sizes at settlement. Overall, results suggest that ~28 °C is likely to be a thermal optimum for larval development for this species and other environmental factors associated with climate change including rainfall, wind speed and solar radiation should be considered in predictions of effects on larval fish.

Item ID: 41241
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), AIMS@JCU, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2015 02:04
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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