MEPS 285:205-211 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps285205

Effect of pelagic larval growth and size-at-hatching on post-settlement survivorship in two temperate labrid fish of the genus Symphodus

N. Raventos*, E. Macpherson

Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes (CSIC), C. acc. Cala Sant Francesc 14, 17300 Blanes, Girona, Spain

ABSTRACT: The characteristics of fish larvae affect settlement and recruitment survival. We examined the effects of the variation in the early life characteristics (pelagic larval growth, pelagic larval duration, size-at-hatching and size-at-settlement) on post-settlement survival in 2 littoral species of the genus Symphodus (S. roissali and S. ocellatus) in the NW Mediterranean over 2 yr. We used otoliths to back-calculate growth rates and other early life traits exhibited by individuals at settlement and 2 mo after settlement. Size-at-hatching clearly affected the post-settlement survival of the 2 species. Juvenile survivors of S. roissali and S. ocellatus were mostly larger at hatching than settlers, and recently settled individuals were susceptible to size-selective mortality. Our study, however, showed that other larval traits (pelagic larval duration, larval otolith growth, size-at-age, size-at-settlement) were not always consistent with the growth-mortality hypothesis.

KEY WORDS: Size selection · Post-settlement mortality · Larval growth · Early larval traits · Labridae · Otoliths

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