Transport and growth of larval cisco (Coregonus artedi) in the Keweenaw Current region of Lake Superior

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Abstract:

Larval cisco (Coregonus artedi) were sampled from Lake Superior off the western coast of the Keweenaw Peninsula (Michigan, USA) to determine if the Keweenaw Current influences their distribution and growth. Bongo net tows were conducted during April–June 2000 from four transects extending from 0.1 to 17km offshore. For most sampling dates, cisco tended to be slightly more abundant, larger, and older at inshore locations. Later-hatched larvae appeared at the western-most transects first, during which time earlier-hatched larvae disappeared from the study area. This pattern followed what would be expected if larvae were being transported eastward by the prevailing Keweenaw Current. Estimated growth rates were 84% higher for later-hatched compared with earlier-hatched larvae and 25% lower for offshore larvae from the eastern-most transects compared with elsewhere. Accordingly, surface water temperatures partly explained spatial and temporal variations in growth rate. These results indicate that cisco larvae in Lake Superior may be transported great distances from major spawning sites by longshore currents and that the temperature regime of nursery areas may largely control their growth.

Nous avons échantillonné des larves de ciscos de lac (Coregonus artedi) du lac Supérieur au large de la côte occidentale de la péninsule de Keweenaw (Michigan, É.-U.) afin de déterminer si le courant de Keweenaw affecte leur répartition et leur croissance. Nous avons effectué des traits de filets bongo en avril–juin 2000 sur quatre transects allant de 0,1 à 17 km de la rive. Pour la plupart des dates d’échantillonnage, les ciscos avaient tendance à être légèrement plus abondants, plus grands et plus vieux dans les sites près de la rive. Les larves à éclosion plus tardive apparaissent d’abord dans le transect situé le plus à l’ouest, au moment où les larves à éclosion plus hâtive ont disparu de la zone d’étude. Ce patron s’accorde avec ce qu’on peut attendre si les larves sont transportées vers l’est par le courant prédominant de Keweenaw. Les taux de croissance estimés chez les larves à éclosion tardive sont 84 % plus élevés que ceux des larves à éclosion hâtive et ils sont de 25 % inférieurs chez les larves du large dans le transect le plus à l’est par comparaison à tous les autres sites. En conséquence, les températures des eaux superficielles expliquent en partie les variations spatiales et temporelles des taux de croissance. Nos résultats indiquent que les larves de ciscos du lac Supérieur peuvent être transportées sur de longues distances à partir des principaux sites de fraye par les courants côtiers et que les régimes thermiques des zones de nourricerie peuvent en grande mesure contrôler leur croissance.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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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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