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Influence of salinity on the migration of postlarval and juvenile flounder Pleuronectes flesus L. in a gradient experiment

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The behaviour of the flounder Pleuronectes flesus was observed in an experimental aquarium that consisted of five connected units with decreasing salinity from 20 to 15, 10, 5 and 0·5. This experimental aquarium was highly effective for studying behaviour in salinity gradients, because the gradient was relatively stable. After 4 days of observation, significantly more flounder were found in water with a salinity of 0·5, indicating a preference for fresh water. The total length of the flounders ranged from 7·5 to 21 mm. The majority of larvae had already started eye‐migration, however, the longer specimens had completed metamorphosis. The migration towards low salinities was observed to increase with ontogenetic development.

Keywords: estuarine distribution; experimental aquarium; flatfish larvae; metamorphosis; ontogenetic development

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Elbelab, Institute for Hydrobiology and Fishery Sciences, University of Hamburg, Olbersweg 24, 22767 Hamburg, Germany and 2: Deutsches Meeresmuseum, Katharinenberg 14-20, 18439 Stralsund, Germany

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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