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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 623:39-50 (2019)  -  DOI:

Resistance to starvation in settling spiny lobsters in warming coastal waters

Luvia Lorei García-Echauri1,*, Geoffrey Liggins2, Andrew Jeffs1,3

1Leigh Marine Laboratory, Institute of Marine Science, The University of Auckland, 160 Goat Island Road, Leigh 0985, New Zealand
2Department of Primary Industries, NSW Fisheries, Sydney, New South Wales 2088, Australia
3School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, 3A Symonds Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Spiny lobsters have an extended larval development in offshore waters that ends with the non-feeding post-larvae swimming across the continental shelf and settling in shallow coastal waters. We tested the hypothesis that recent declines in the recruitment of a number of spiny lobster populations in different parts of the world are the result of increasing coastal water temperatures that deplete the metabolic reserves of recently settled post-larvae. We examined the resilience of recently settled juvenile lobsters to the depletion of their reserves in 2 species of spiny lobster from temperate waters. Juveniles of Jasus edwardsii survived on average (±SE) for 34.44 ± 3.44 d without feeding at 19-21°C, while Sagmariasus verreauxi survived for 39.96 ± 1.40 d, with no differences in survival among 3 temperature regimes (17, 20 and 23°C). The point of no return for recently-settled juveniles of S. verreauxi was estimated to be 30.40 ± 13.50 d, which was close to their average survival under starvation conditions. Starved juvenile lobsters close to the point of no return with extremely low remaining protein and lipid (6.52% lipid and 27.18% protein of dry body mass) were capable of surviving once food was supplied. These results indicate that newly settled juveniles of spiny lobsters from temperate waters can endure adverse nutritional conditions over a wide range of thermal conditions for prolonged periods, making them resilient to future increases in water temperatures as a result of climate change.

KEY WORDS: Jasus edwardsii · Sagmariasus verreauxi · Point of no return · PNR · Starvation · Spiny lobster juveniles · Thermal tolerance

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Cite this article as: Garcia-Echauri LL, Liggins G, Jeffs A (2019) Resistance to starvation in settling spiny lobsters in warming coastal waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 623:39-50.

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