Critical Food Concentrations for Larvae of Three Species of Subtropical Marine Fishes
Laboratory experiments of 16 days duration were used to estimate minimum food concentrations required by larvae of bay anchovy Anchoa mitchilli (Engraulidae), lined sole Achirus lineatus (Soleidae), and sea bream Archosargus rhomboidalis (Sparidae). Wild plankton, consisting mostly of copepod nauplii and copepodids, was fed to the larvae at designated concentrations to determine how survival, growth, and production were related to the food supply and how these variables differed among species representing three taxonomic orders of marine fishes. Some larvae of all species survived at the lowest concentrations tested, 10 to 50 per liter. The food levels at which 10% survival to metamorphosis was predicted were: bay anchovy—107 per liter; lined sole—130 per liter; sea bream—34 per liter. Survival and growth increased at higher food concentrations, but the critical level apparently is on the order of 10–100 per liter. Sea bream had greater survival and growth potentials at low food concentrations than the other species. From hatching until 16 days at the 100 per liter food level sea bream mean weight increased by 17.7 times, bay anchovy increased by 13.4 times, and lined sole by 4.1 times. Estimated production (μg/hatched larva/liter) of sea bream larvae at 100 per liter food concentration exceeded bay anchovy production by 3.4 times and lined sole production by 5.1 times. A review of literature indicated that mean concentrations of microzooplankton in coastal and some oceanic areas usually were present at levels that would insure significant survival and growth of many marine fish larvae, although the interacting effects of predation and food availability still need to be considered.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1978-07-01
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