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Behavior and recruitment success in fish larvae: variation with growth rate and the batch effect

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Predation-mortality risk for red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) larvae does not appear to be related to their growth rate, but important differences in behavioral performance occur between batches of larvae. This conclusion is based upon field-enclosure and laboratory experiments that assessed the degree to which predation-mortality rates and behavioral survival skills vary with growth rate. In field enclosures, populations composed of 15 fast-growing larvae and 15 slow-growing larvae of a comparable size were exposed to a predatory fish. Growth rate did not affect predation rate. In the laboratory we measured 11 survival skills on 100 larvae of a common size from 10 batches of eggs. For each batch, behavioral performance of fast-growing larvae was compared with that of slow-growing larvae. Growth rate did not affect performance in 10 of the 11 survival skills, but behavioral performance varied among treatment groups (growth rate × batch), with higher performance in most survival skills for some treatment groups and consistently poorer performance for other groups. This coordinated pattern of behavioral performance forecasts differential survival among batches. The variation among batches may be related to timing of spawning within the reproductive season of this serially spawning species.

Le risque de mortalité dû à la prédation chez le tambour rouge (Sciaenops ocellatus) ne semble pas relié au taux de croissance, mais il existe d'importantes différences de performance comportementale chez les divers groupes de larves. Cette conclusion se base sur des expériences en laboratoire et en enclos en nature qui ont évalué à quel point les taux de la mortalité due à la prédation et les habiletés comportementales de survie varient en fonction du taux de croissance. Dans les enclos de terrain, nous avons exposé à la prédation par des poissons des populations de 15 larves à croissance rapide et 15 larves à croissance lente de même taille. Le taux de croissance n'affecte pas le taux de prédation. En laboratoire, nous avons évalué 11 habiletés de survie chez 100 larves de même taille provenant de 10 masses d'oeufs. Pour chaque masse d'oeufs, nous avons comparé la performance comportementale des larves à croissance rapide à celle des larves à croissance lente. Le taux de croissance n'affecte pas la performance de 10 de 11 habiletés de survie, mais la performance comportementale varie d'un traitement à l'autre (taux de croissance × masse d'oeufs); les meilleures performances dans la majorité des habiletés de survie se retrouvent dans certains groupes et les pires performances sont régulièrement dans d'autres groupes. Ce pattern coordonné de performances comportementales laisse présager une différence de survie chez les différents groupes. Les causes de la variation chez les différents groupes peuvent être reliées au moment de la ponte au cours de la période de reproduction chez cette espèce qui pond de façon répétée.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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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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