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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Regional differences in duration of the planktonic larval stage of reef fishes in the eastern Pacific Ocean

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  • G. M. Wellington 1
  • B. C. Victor 2
  • 1) Department of Biology, University of Houston, 77204, Houston, Texas, USA
  • 2) Department of Biological Sciences, University of California, 93106, Santa Barbara, California, USA

Regional variation in the duration of the planktonic larval phase of three species of reef fishes, Thalassoma lucasanum (Labridae), Stegastes flavilatus, and Microspathodon dorsalis (Pomacentridae) was investigated between 1982 and 1991 at several sites in the tropical eastern Pacific over a distance of 3500 km, encompassing virtually their entire range of distribution. Durations of the larval phase, determined from counts of daily otolith increments, were significantly different (1.3 to 1.6 x) between sites. Populations of all three species had a consistently shorter larval life at the most northern site, Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) compared to Panamá and the offshore islands of Galápagos and Cocos. Analyses of otolith increment width over the precompetent period revealed that this disparity in larval duration primarily reflected differences in larval growth rates: faster growing fish spent less time in the plankton. In T. lucasanum, some of the variation in larval duration between Panamá and offshore sites (Galápagos Islands and Cocos Island) may be accounted for by a higher frequency of individuals delaying metamorphosis at the offshore sites. These data indicate that conditions in the planktonic environment are not homogeneous throughout the tropical eastern Pacific and may have a profound effect on aspects of the larval ecology of reef fishes in this region.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - marine biology & hydrobiology
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  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - vertebres: zoologie generale, morphologie, phylogenese, systematique, cytogenetique, repartition geographique
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
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  • 1 - science ; 2 - marine & freshwater biology
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Marine Biology

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