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An experimental examination of temperature interactions in the match–mismatch hypothesis for Pacific cod larvae

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The match–mismatch hypothesis (MMH) predicts that marine fish larvae will have their highest rate of growth and survival when they overlap with their prey. However, Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) and other gadids continue to thrive in the Bering Sea despite delayed prey production resulting from warming and loss of sea ice. In this study, we examined how temperature mediates growth and survival of Pacific cod larvae under varying match–mismatch conditions. Cod larvae were reared at two temperatures (3°C and 8°C) and exposed to one of five different food treatments over a 6-week period: (i) high food (HF) (match); (ii) low food (LF); (iii) HF then LF (HF–LF); and (iv) LF then HF (LF–HF) (2–4 mismatch); and (v) no food (NF) (complete mismatch). Results showed that cold environments allow Pacific cod larvae to bridge gaps in prey availability (i.e., timing and magnitude), but negatively impact survival over longer periods. Under warmer conditions, mismatches in prey significantly impacted growth and survival. However, both yolk reserves and compensatory growth mechanisms reduced the severity of mismatches occurring in the first 3 weeks of development. Our results demonstrate a clear need to incorporate the direct effects of temperature on fish larvae in food limitation models.

L'hypothèse de l'appariement–mésappariement (MMH, match–mismatch hypothesis) prédit que les larves de poissons marins possèdent une croissance et une survie maximales lorsqu'il y un chevauchement entre elles et leurs proies. Cependant, la morue du Pacifique (Gadus macrocephalus) et d'autres gadidés continuent de prospérer dans la mer de Béring malgré la production retardée de proies causée par le réchauffement et la perte de glace de mer. Nous examinons dans notre étude comment la température contrôle la croissance et la survie de la morue du Pacifique sous diverses conditions d'appariement–mésappariement. Nous avons élevé des larves de morue à deux températures (3 °C et 8 °C) et les avons exposées à l'un de cinq traitements alimentaires durant une période de 6 semaines: (i) nourriture abondante (HF) (appariement), (ii) nourriture restreinte (LF), (iii) HF puis LF (HF–LF), (iv) LF puis HF (LF–HF) (2–4 mésappariements) et (v) absence de nourriture (NF) (mésappariement complet). Nos résultats montrent que les environnements froids permettent aux larves de morues du Pacifique de surmonter des interruptions dans la disponibilité des proies (c'est-à-dire le moment et l'intensité de la pénurie); mais cela affecte négativement la survie sur des périodes plus longues. Dans des conditions plus chaudes, les mésappariements des proies affectent significativement la croissance et la survie. Cependant, les réserves de vitellus et les mécanismes compensatoires de la croissance réduisent tous deux la sévérité des mésappariements qui se produisent durant les trois premières semaines du développement. Nos résultats démontrent clairement la nécessité d'incorporer les effets directs de la température sur les larves de poissons dans les modèles de restriction de nourriture.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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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