Estimating the relative roles of dispersion and predation in generating regional differences in mortality rates of larval radiated shanny (Ulvaria subbifurcata)

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We followed three patches of larval radiated shanny (Ulvaria subbifurcata) using drogued drifters to assess regional differences in growth and mortality rates. We estimate dispersive losses directly using local surveys of surface currents corrected for the tidally induced divergence caused by the lack of synopticity of our surveys. We also monitored the abundance of juvenile capelin (Mallotus villosus), the major planktivore in the region, using hydroacoustic integration. The pattern of divergence–convergence showed considerable temporal and spatial variability, which resulted in substantial changes in the inferred biological mortality rates. The net mortality rates appeared to be directly proportional to the local abundance of pelagic fish. As with other patch studies, we are limited in the number of observations we obtained, but the results of this multidisciplinary study do suggest a strong potential for prey–predator interactions between larvae and adult planktivorous fish.

L'utilisation de dériveurs à ancre flottante nous a permis de suivre trois « taches » de larves d'Ulvaires deux-lignes (Ulvaria subbifurcata) pour déterminer les différences régionales de leurs taux de croissance et de mortalité. Les pertes dues à la dispersion sont estimées directement à partir de l'inventaire local des courants de surface, corrigés pour éliminer la divergence induite par la marée due au manque de synopticité de nos inventaires. L'intégration hydroacoustique nous a de plus permis de suivre la densité des jeunes Capelans (Mallotus villosus), les planctonophages principaux de la région. Le pattern de convergence–divergence accuse une importante variabilité temporelle et spatiale, ce qui entraîne des changements considérables dans les taux estimés de mortalité biologique. Les taux nets de mortalité semblent être directement proportionnels à l'abondance locale de poissons pélagiques. Comme c'est le cas dans les autres études sur les « taches », le nombre d'observations que l'on peut obtenir est limité, cependant notre étude multidisciplinaire laisse croire qu'il y a une forte probabilité de relations prédateurs–proies entre les larves et les poissons planctonophages adultes.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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