Energy use, growth and survival of coral reef snapper larvae reared at elevated temperatures

McMahon, Shannon J., Munday, Philip L., and Donelson, Jennifer M. (2023) Energy use, growth and survival of coral reef snapper larvae reared at elevated temperatures. Coral Reefs, 42. pp. 31-42.

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The success of individuals during the pelagic larval phase is critical to maintaining healthy and viable populations of coral reef fishes; however, it is also the most environmentally sensitive and energetically demanding life stage. Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of marine heatwaves, which could have significant effects on the development and survival of larval coral reef fishes. However, little is known about how the larvae of pelagic-spawning coral reef fishes will be affected due to the difficulty of spawning and rearing these species in captivity. In this study, we tested how elevated temperatures, similar to those occurring during a marine heatwave, affected the yolk utilization, growth, and survival of larval, Lutjanus carponotatus, a common mesopredatory fish on Indo-west Pacific coral reefs. Eggs and larvae were reared at a current-day average summer temperature (28.5 °C) and two elevated temperatures (30 °C and 31.5 °C) until 14 d post-hatch (dph). Larvae in the elevated temperatures depleted their yolk reserves 39% faster than at the control temperature. The standard length of larvae was 55% (30 °C) and 92% (31.5 °C) longer in the elevated temperature treatments than the control temperature at 14 dph. Conversely, survival of larvae was 54% (30 °C) and 68% (31.5 °C) lower at elevated temperatures compared with the control temperature. This study provides new insights as to how the early life stages of coral reef fishes could be affected by ocean warming and marine heatwaves, with implications for their population dynamics.

Item ID: 76546
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: Climate change, Development, Early life, Lutjanus carponotatus, Marine heatwaves, Ocean warming, Reef fish
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 23:53
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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