eCite Digital Repository

Thermal tolerance of the nektonic puerulus stage of spiny lobsters and implications of ocean warming


Fitzgibbon, QP and Ruff, N and Tracey, SR and Battaglene, SC, Thermal tolerance of the nektonic puerulus stage of spiny lobsters and implications of ocean warming, Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 515 pp. 173-186. ISSN 0171-8630 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Inter-Research

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps10979


Recent recruitment declines in important spiny lobster fisheries worldwide have triggered conjecture about negative impacts of anthropogenically induced environmental change on their long-lived planktonic larval life stages. Puerulus larvae are the critical transitional stage between pelagic larval development and coastal juvenile recruitment and may be particularly sensitive to environmental change due to immature cardiorespiratory capacity and exceptional energy demands associated with shoreward migration. We measured Sagmariasus verreauxi pueruli energy metabolism and defined their thermal tolerance, which are considered against published coastal recruitment data and spatially explicit ocean warming scenarios. The upper threshold of the thermal optimum window (upper pejus temperature range) was defined by the temperature optimum for aerobic scope. Within the upper pejus temperature range, pueruli had diminished aerobic capacity for physiological performance and used more of their finite lipid reserves to support an amplified metabolism. Sea surface temperatures at the northern extent of their natural range already reach the upper pejus range, and monitoring settlement data from the wild indicted that fewer puerulus successfully recruit during hot seasons in this area. Our study provides some evidence that physiological thermal tolerance constraints are already limiting postlarval recruitment. Predicted increases in water temperatures for their rapidly warming habitat will amplify the thermal challenge experienced by pueruli and may result in large shifts in lobster distribution and significant re-shuffling of species assemblages, creating challenges for sustainable natural resource management.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:spiny lobster, recruitment, puerulus, thermal tolerance, climate change
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Fitzgibbon, QP (Associate Professor Quinn Fitzgibbon)
UTAS Author:Ruff, N (Dr Nicole Ruff)
UTAS Author:Tracey, SR (Associate Professor Sean Tracey)
UTAS Author:Battaglene, SC (Associate Professor Stephen Battaglene)
ID Code:96745
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (IH120100032)
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2014-11-19
Last Modified:2017-11-04

Repository Staff Only: item control page