Ecology of Early Larval Development of Nyctiphanes Simplex Hansen (Euphausiacea) off the Southwest Coast of Baja California, Mexico
Variability and patterns of dominance in larval forms of furcilia stages F1 and F2 of the euphausiid Nyctiphanes simplex Hansen is described using samples obtained off the southwest coast of Baja California during May, June, August, November 1986 and July 1987 and 1988. The furcilia forms were identified by differences in the degree of pleopod development. Two trends in pathways of pleopod development were observed among young furcilia: 1) longer developmental sequences began with the furcilia F1 form having one pair of non-setose pleopods and had smaller incremental size changes between instars, and 2) developmental sequences which were shorter and more direct began with furcilia F1 forms having 2, 3, or 4 pairs of non-setose pleopods and had the largest incremental size change between instars. The sequences that start with the F1 form without pleopods can follow either of the two pathways. Furcilia stages F1 and F2 were more abundant near the coast (<200 m bottom depth) in areas having relatively low sea surface temperatures, high zooplanktonic biomass, and high phytoplanktonic abundance associated with coastal upwelling. They were less abundant in offshore regions (>200 m bottom depth) with high sea surface temperatures and a low abundance of zooplankton biomass. It is confirmed that the nearshore regions are the primary nursery area and that the wide flexibility in the larval development of N. simplex is possibly an adaptive response of the species to great environmental variability and contributes to the successful adaptation of this species to neritic ecosystems.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1996-01-01
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