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Ontogeny of behaviour relevant to dispersal and connectivity in the larvae of two non-reef demersal, tropical fish species


Leis, JM and Piola, RF and Hay, AC and Wen, C and Kan, K-P, Ontogeny of behaviour relevant to dispersal and connectivity in the larvae of two non-reef demersal, tropical fish species, Marine and Freshwater Research, 60, (3) pp. 211-223. ISSN 1323-1650 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 CSIRO

DOI: doi:10.1071/MF08186


In demersal marine fishes, the dispersal of larvae determines the geographical scale of population connectivity, and larval behaviour may influence dispersal. Yet, little is known of the ontogeny of behaviours that can influence dispersal. The present study examined the development of these behaviours in pelagic larvae of tropical marine fishes (421 mm) that occupy non-reef habitats as adults: Eleutheronema tetradactylum (Polynemidae) and Leiognathus equulus (Leiognathidae). In the laboratory, critical speed (Ucrit) increased from 3 to 34 cm s1 at 1.31.7 cm s1 per mm of size, with the fastest larvae up to 50% faster. In situ speed increased from 4 to 25 cm s1 at 0.72.2 cm s1 per mm, and was 1014 body length s1 (6090% of Ucrit). Endurance increased from 0 to >40 km at 2.44.7 km per mm. In the sea, orientation precision did not change ontogenetically, both species tended to swim in loops, and neither significant overall directionality nor ontogenetic change in orientation was present. Larval orientation of these non-reef species was less precise than that of reef fishes. The two species differed in depth distribution, and one ascended ontogenetically. These behaviours can potentially influence dispersal outcomes over the full size range of these larvae.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Leiognathidae, orientation, Polynemidae, swimming speed, vertical distribution
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Leis, JM (Dr Jeff Leis)
ID Code:94212
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-09-03
Last Modified:2015-02-23

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