Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 103–117 | Cite as

Behaviour that influences dispersal and connectivity in the small, young larvae of a reef fish

  • Jeffrey M. Leis
  • Kelly J. Wright
  • Rebecca N. Johnson
Research Article

Abstract

Determining the scale of larval dispersal and population connectivity in demersal fishes is a major challenge in marine ecology. Historically, considerations of larval dispersal have ignored the possible contributions of larval behaviour, but we show here that even young, small larvae have swimming, orientation and vertical positioning capabilities that can strongly influence dispersal outcomes. Using young (11–15 days), relatively poorly developed (8–10 mm), larvae of the pomacentrid damselfish, Amblyglyphidodon curacao (identified using mitochondrial DNA), we studied behaviour relevant to dispersal in the laboratory and sea on windward and leeward sides of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Behaviour varied little with size over the narrow size range examined. Critical speed was 27.5 ± 1.0 cm s−1 (30.9 BL s−1), and in situ speed was 13.6 ± 0.6 cm s−1. Fastest individuals were 44.6 and 25.0 cm s−1, for critical and in situ speeds, respectively. In situ speed was about 50% of critical speed and equalled mean current speed. Unfed larvae swam 172 ± 29 h at 8–10 cm s−1 (52.0 ± 8.6 km), and lost 25% wet weight over that time. Vertical distribution differed between locations: modal depth was 2.5–5.0 and 10.0–12.5 m at leeward and windward sites, respectively. Over 80% of 71 larvae observed in situ had directional swimming trajectories. Larvae avoided NW bearings, with an overall mean SE swimming direction, regardless of the direction to nearest settlement habitat. Larvae made smaller changes between sequential bearings of swimming direction when swimming SE than in other directions, making it more likely they would continue to swim SE. When swimming NW, 62% of turns were left (more than in other directions), which would quickly result in swimming direction changing away from NW. This demonstrates the larvae knew the direction in which they were swimming and provides insight into how they achieved SE swimming direction. Although the cues used for orientation are unclear, some possibilities seemingly can be eliminated. Thus, A. curacao larvae near Lizard Island, on average swam into the average current at a speed equivalent to it, could do this for many hours, and chose different depths in different locations. These behaviours will strongly influence dispersal, and are similar to behaviour of other settlement-stage pomacentrid larvae that are older and larger.

Keywords

Standard Length Swimming Speed Great Barrier Reef Critical Speed Light Trap 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the skilful field assistance of Marcus Gregson, Amanda Hay, Klaus Heubert, and Tom Trnski. As always, the staff of the Lizard Island Research Station made our work possible, and our stay pleasant and productive. Ash Fowler and Tom Mullaney provided essential assistance with the otoliths, and Iain Suthers provided laboratory facilities. Suzanne Bullock inked Fig. 2, and she, Michelle Yerman and Greer Howarth provided editorial assistance. The research was supported by ARC grant DP0345876 to JML and by the Australian Museum. KJW was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award from the University of New South Wales.

References

  1. Almany GR, Berumen ML, Thorrold SR, Planes S, Jones GP (2007) Local replenishment of coral reef fish populations in a marine reserve. Science 316:742–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Batschelet E (1981) Circular statistics in biology. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Bay LK, Buechler K, Gagliano M, Caley MJ (2006) Intraspecific variation in the pelagic larval duration of tropical reef fishes. J Fish Biol 68:1206–1214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brett JR (1964) The respiratory metabolism and swimming performance of young sockeye salmon. J Fish Res Board Can 21:1183–1226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choat JH, Doherty PJ, Kerrigan BA, Leis JM (1993) A comparison of towed nets, purse seine, and light-aggregation devices for sampling larvae and pelagic juveniles of coral reef fishes. Fish Bull 91:195–209Google Scholar
  6. Clark DL, Leis JM, Hay AC, Trnski T (2005) Swimming ontogeny of larvae of four temperate marine fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 292:287–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fisher R, Bellwood DR (2001) Effects of feeding on the sustained swimming abilities of late-stage larval Amphiprion melanopus. Coral Reefs 20:151–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fisher R, Bellwood DR (2002) The influence of swimming speed on sustained swimming performance of late-stage reef fish larvae. Mar Biol 140:801–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fisher R, Bellwood DR, Job SD (2000) Development of swimming abilities in reef fish larvae. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 202:163–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fisher R, Leis JM, Clark DL, Wilson SK (2005) Critical swimming speeds of late-stage coral reef fish larvae: variation within species, among species and between locations. Mar Biol 147:1201–1212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Frith CA, Leis JM, Goldman B (1986) Currents in the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon and their relevance to potential movements of larvae. Coral Reefs 5:81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gerlach G, Atema J, Kingsford MJ, Black KP, Miller-Sims V (2007) Smelling home can prevent dispersal of reef fish larvae. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:858–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hoese DF, Bray DJ, Allen GR, Paxton JR (2006) Fishes. Zoological Catalogue of Australia (ABRS & CSIRO Publishing) 35:1–2178Google Scholar
  14. Jones GP, Planes S, Thorrold SR (2005) Coral reef fish larvae settle close to home. Curr Biol 15:1314–1318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kingsford MJ, Leis JM, Shanks A, Lindeman K, Morgan S, Pineda J (2002) Sensory environments, larval abilities and local self-recruitment. Bull Mar Sci 70:309–340Google Scholar
  16. Kocher TD, Thomas WK, Meyer A, Edwards SV, Paabo S, Villablanca FX, Wilson AC (1989) Dynamics of mitochondrial DNA Evolution in animals: amplification and sequencing with conserved primers. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 86:6196–6200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kocher TD, White TJ (1989) Evolutionary analysis via PCR. In: Erlich H (ed) PCR technology: principles and applications for DNA amplification. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 137–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Leis JM (1986) Vertical and horizontal distribution of fish larvae near coral reefs at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Mar Biol 90:505–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leis JM (2004) Vertical distribution behaviour and its spatial variation in late-stage larvae of coral-reef fishes during the day. Mar Freshw Behav Physiol 37(2):65–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Leis JM (2006) Are larvae of demersal fishes plankton or nekton? Adv Mar Biol 51:59–141Google Scholar
  21. Leis JM, Carson-Ewart BM (1997) Swimming speeds of the late larvae of some coral reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 159:165–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Leis JM, Carson-Ewart BM (1998) Complex behaviour by coral-reef fish larvae in open-water and near-reef pelagic environments. Environ Biol Fish 53:259–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Leis JM, Carson-Ewart BM (2001) Behavioural differences in pelagic larvae of four species of coral-reef fishes between two environments: ocean and atoll lagoon. Coral Reefs 19:247–257Google Scholar
  24. Leis JM, Carson-Ewart BM (2002) In situ settlement behaviour of damselfish larvae (Pisces: Pomacentridae). J Fish Biol 61:325–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leis JM, Carson-Ewart BM (2003) Orientation of pelagic larvae of coral-reef fishes in the ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 252:239–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Leis JM, Carson-Ewart BM (2004) The larvae of Indo-Pacific coastal fishes: a guide to identification. In: Fauna Malesiana Handbook 2, 2nd edn. Brill, LeidenGoogle Scholar
  27. Leis JM, Clark DL (2005) Feeding greatly enhances endurance swimming of settlement-stage reef-fish larvae (Pomacentridae). Ichthyol Res 52:185–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leis JM, Fisher R (2006) Swimming speed of settlement-stage reef-fish larvae measured in the laboratory and in the field: a comparison of critical speed and in situ speed. In: Proceedings of the 10th international coral reef symposium, Okinawa, pp 438–445Google Scholar
  29. Leis JM, Stobutzki IC (1999) Swimming performance of late pelagic larvae of coral-reef fishes: in situ and laboratory-based measurements. In: Seret B, Sire J-Y (eds) Proceedings of the 5th Indo-Pacific fish conference, Noumea, 1997. Societe Francaise d’Ichtyologie & Institut de Recherche pour le Developpment, Paris, pp 575–583Google Scholar
  30. Leis JM, Carson-Ewart BM, Cato DH (2002) Sound detection in situ by the larvae of a coral-reef damselfish (Pomacentridae). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 232:259–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Leis JM, Hay AC, Clark DA, Chen I-S, Shao K-T (2006a) Behavioral ontogeny in larvae and early juveniles of the giant trevally, Caranx ignobilis (Pisces: Carangidae). Fish Bull 104:401–414Google Scholar
  32. Leis JM, Hay AC, Trnski T (2006b) In situ behavioural ontogeny in larvae of three temperate, marine fishes. Mar Biol 148:655–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Leis JM, Sweatman HPA, Reader SE (1996) What the pelagic stages of coral reef fishes are doing out in blue water: daytime field observations of larval behaviour. Mar Freshw Res 47:401–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Murphy BF, Leis JM, Kavanagh KD (2007) Larval development of the Ambon damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis, with a summary of pomacentrid development. J Fish Biol. 71:569–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Randall JE (2005) Reef and shore fishes of the south Pacific. University of Hawaii Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  36. Randall JE, Allen GR, Steene RC (1997) Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House, BathurstGoogle Scholar
  37. Saghaimaroof MA, Soliman KM, Jorgensen RA, Allard RW (1984) Ribosomal DNA spacer length in barley: Mandelian Inheritance, chromosomal location and population dynamics. In: Proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the United States of America vol 81, pp 8014–8018Google Scholar
  38. Simpson SD, Meekan M, Montgomery J, McCauley R, Jeffs A (2005) Homeward sound. Science 308:221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stobutzki IC (1997) Energetic cost of sustained swimming in the late pelagic stages of reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 152:249–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stobutzki IC (1998) Interspecific variation in sustained swimming ability of late pelagic stage reef fish from two families (Pomacentridae and Chaetodontidae). Coral Reefs 17:111–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stobutzki IC, Bellwood DR (1997) Sustained swimming abilities of the late pelagic stages of coral reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 149:35–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Swearer SE, Shima JS, Hellberg ME, Thorrold SR, Jones GP, Robertson DR, Morgan SG, Selkoe KA, Ruiz GM, Warner RR (2002) Evidence of self-recruitment in demersal marine populations. Bull Mar Sci 70:251–272Google Scholar
  43. Swofford DL (1998) PAUP* Phylogenetic Analysis using Parsimony (* and other methods). Sinauer Associates, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
  44. Tanaka Y, Mori T (1989) Reproductive behaviour, egg and larval development of the Staghorn Damsel, Amblyglyphidodon curacao (Bloch), in the aquarium. Bull Inst Oceanic Res Develop Tokai Univ 10:3–12Google Scholar
  45. Tanaka Y, Nitta M (1997) Reproduction and rearing of the damselfish, Chrysiptera parasema, in the aquarium. Bull Inst Oceanic Res Develop, Tokai Univ 18:63–75Google Scholar
  46. Tanaka Y, Yamada K (2001) Reproduction and rearing of the damselfish, Chrysiptera hemicyanea, in the aquarium. Bull Inst Oceanic Res Develop Tokai Univ 22:49–63Google Scholar
  47. Tanaka Y, Yamada K, Hayakawa Y, Watanabe D (2004) Reproduction and rearing of the damselfish, Pomacentrus pavo, in the aquarium. Bull Inst Oceanic Res Develop Tokai Univ 25:1–12Google Scholar
  48. Taylor MS, Hellberg ME (2003) Genetic evidence for local retention of pelagic larvae in a Caribbean reef fish. Science 299:107–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Thompson JD, Gibson TJ, Plewniak F, Jeanmougin F, Higgins DG (1997) The CLUSTAL-X windows interface: flexible strategies for multiple sequence alignment aided by quality analysis tools. Nucleic Acid Res 25:4876–4882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Thresher RE, Colin PL, Bell LJ (1989) Planktonic duration, distribution and population structure of western and central Pacific damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Copeia 1989:420–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wellington GM, Victor BC (1989) Planktonic larval duration of one hundred species of Pacific and Atlantic damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Mar Biol 101:557–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wright KJ, Higgs DM, Belanger AJ, Leis JM (2005) Auditory and olfactory abilities of pre-settlement larvae and post-settlement juveniles of a coral reef damselfish (Pisces: Pomacentridae). Mar Biol 147:1425–1434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zar JH (1996) Biostatistical analysis, 3rd edn. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey M. Leis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kelly J. Wright
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rebecca N. Johnson
    • 3
  1. 1.IchthyologyAustralian MuseumSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.DNA LaboratoryAustralian MuseumSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations