Journal of Ichthyology

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 380–392 | Cite as

Life history differences and latitudinal variation in recruitment in two species of arctic-boreal perciform fishes, the fish doctor Gymnelus viridis and the Arctic shanny Stichaeus punctatus

  • R. Dunbrack
  • J. M. Green


Growth and recruitment were examined in two arctic-boreal, shallow water marine perciform species: the fish doctor Gymnelus viridis (Zoarcidae) and the Arctic shanny Stichaeus punctatus (Stichaeidae). G. viridis ranges in the Canadian Arctic from northern Hudson Bay to northern Ellesmere Island, whereas S. punctatus has a more southerly range from Nova Scotia coastal waters to northern Hudson Bay. At Nuvuk Islands in northeastern Hudson Bay, where the two species are sympatric in shallow water, they had comparable juvenile growth rates but temporal variation in 0+ recruitment was substantially greater in S. punctatus. This difference may stem from their contrasting early life histories. S. punctatus spawns large numbers of small demersal eggs that hatch into pelagic larvae, whereas G. viridis spawns small numbers of large demersal eggs that hatch directly into demersal juveniles with no pelagic stage, suggesting that recruitment in G. viridis should be less sensitive to yearly variation in the onset of the ice-free period in Hudson Bay and the subsequent pulse of pelagic invertebrate production. Relative to Nuvuk, recruitment variation in G. viridis was found to be greater at Resolute, Cornwallis Island, close to its northern range limit, whereas recruitment variation in S. punctatus was not evident in Newfoundland, closer to its southern range limit.


Gymnelus viridis Stichaeus punctatus recruitment variation species range hypothesis 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyMemorial UniversitySt. John’s, NLCanada

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