Settlement patterns and post-settlement survival in two Mediterranean littoral fishes: influences of early-life traits and environmental variables
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We examined the relationships between daily pattern of settlement and environmental parameters during two consecutive years in two littoral fishes, Lipophrys trigloides (Blenniidae) and Chromis chromis (Pomacentridae), in the NW Mediterranean Sea. We also used individual early-life traits (pelagic larval duration, size at hatching and size at settlement) calculated from otoliths, to study the proximate causes of settlement variability and size-selective mortality after settlement. Several early-life characteristics of L. trigloides (planktonic larval duration and size at hatching), and environmental variables averaged during the whole planktonic period (e.g. water temperature, wave height, solar radiation) were related with the magnitude of settlement. In contrast, C. chromis showed no significant relationships between early-life traits and the magnitude of settlement, and a weak relationship between settlement magnitude and environmental variables. Furthermore, juvenile survivors showed larger size at hatching than settlers, indicating that size at hatching affected the juvenile survival of the two species. These results suggest that survival was linked largely to conditions at hatching for both species.
KeywordsWave Height Settlement Pattern Wind Component Settlement Success Larval Duration
We specially thank A. García-Rubies, I. Uriz for helpful comments and F. Maynou for his valuable assistance in statistical analyses. Lastly we thank anonymous reviewers for their constructive remarks. This research was funded by project CICYT-MAR99–0873.
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