Freshwater adaptation during larval, juvenile and immature periods of starry flounder Platichthys stellatus, stone flounder Kareius bicoloratus and their reciprocal hybrids
The freshwater tolerance of starry flounder Platichthys stellatus, stone flounder Kareius bicoloratus and their reciprocal hybrids, produced by artificial insemination, were examined in the larval, juvenile and immature phases. Survival rate on being transferred to fresh water in the pre-settlement phase was 0% in stone flounder and hybrids and 16·7% in starry flounder. This rate in the post-settlement phase was elevated to >50% in starry flounder and hybrids but was still 0% in stone flounder and similarly in the immature period starry flounder and hybrids survived in fresh water, although stone flounder did not. The lamella chloride cells of the gill epithelium increased in starry flounder and hybrids in fresh water in all periods. Densities of lamella chloride cells increased from 1·6 ± 0·4 (mean ±s.e. number of cells per 1 mm filament) before the transferral (day 0) to 60·3 ± 6·2 on 14 days after the transfer to fresh water (day 14) in starry flounder in the immature period. These densities in hybrids were 0·6 ± 0·3 and 1·0 ± 0·3 on day 0, and, 35·3 ± 2·8 and 23·2 ± 4·6 on day 14, respectively. Stone flounder did not show a substantial change in chloride cell densities throughout the experimental period. These results suggest that low salinity tolerance was well developed in the settlement period in starry flounder and hybrids, and hybrids were also adapted to fresh water sufficiently regardless of the cross type.
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