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Intraspecific variation in the pelagic larval duration of tropical reef fishes

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Estimates of pelagic larval duration (PLD) for 10 species of Pomacentridae and two species of Gobiidae were made. In eight of the 12 species examined, within‐population mean PLDs differed between sampling times, locations within regions and among regions. In contrast, the range of these same PLD estimates overlapped at all spatial and temporal scales examined in 11 of the 12 species, but not between regions in one species (Amphiprion melanopus). Therefore, despite tight error estimates typically associated with estimates of PLD taken from a particular population at a particular time in some taxa, the overlapping ranges in PLD reported here indicate that the length of the pelagic larval phase is a much more plastic trait than previously appreciated. Within‐species variation in PLD has considerable potential to provide further insights into the ecology and evolution of tropical reef fishes.
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Keywords: Gobiidae; Pomacentridae; connectivity; daily rings; otolith; plasticity

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia, 2: Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB #3, Townsville MC, QLD 4810, Australia

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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