Swimming abilities of temperate pelagic fish larvae prove that they may control their dispersion in coastal areas

Baptista, Vânia, Morais, Pedro, Cruz, Joana, Castanho, Sara, Ribeiro, Laura, Pousão-Ferreira, Pedro, Leitão, Francisco, Wolanski, Eric, and Teodósio, Maria Alexandra (2019) Swimming abilities of temperate pelagic fish larvae prove that they may control their dispersion in coastal areas. Diversity, 11 (10). 185.

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The Sense Acuity and Behavioral (SAAB) Hypothesis proposes that the swimming capabilities and sensorial acuity of temperate fish larvae allows them to find and swim towards coastal nursery areas, which are crucial for their recruitment. To gather further evidence to support this theory, it is necessary to understand how horizontal swimming capability varies along fish larvae ontogeny. Therefore, we studied the swimming capability of white seabream Diplodus sargus (Linnaeus, 1758) larvae along ontogeny, and their relationship with physiological condition. Thus, critical swimming speed (Ucrit) and the distance swam (km) during endurance tests were determined for fish larvae from 15 to 55 days post-hatching (DPH), and their physiological condition (RNA, DNA and protein contents) was assessed. The critical swimming speed of white seabream larvae increased along ontogeny from 1.1 cm s−1 (15 DPH) to 23 cm s−1 (50 and 55 DPH), and the distance swam by larvae in the endurance experiments increased from 0.01 km (15 DPH) to 86.5 km (45 DPH). This finding supports one of the premises of the SAAB hypothesis, which proposes that fish larvae can influence their transport and distribution in coastal areas due to their swimming capabilities. The relationship between larvae’s physiological condition and swimming capabilities were not evident in this study. Overall, this study provides critical information for understanding the link between population dynamics and connectivity with the management and conservation of fish stocks.

Item ID: 60538
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1424-2818
Keywords: fish larvae; recruitment; dispersion; swimming capacity; Ucrit; endurance
Copyright Information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Funders: Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)
Projects and Grants: FCT Transitional Norm (DL57/2016/CP[1361]/CT[CT0008), FCT project UID/Multi/04326/2019, CLIMFISH project
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 02:05
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040608 Surfacewater Hydrology @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160605 Environmental Politics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 50%
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