Impacts of short-term salinity and turbidity stress on the embryonic stage of red sea bream Pagrus major


Heavy rainfall can reduce salinity and increase turbidity in coastal waters, creating stressful conditions for the organisms found there, especially for the early stages of their ontogeny. The effects of salinity and turbidity on the embryonic stages of red sea bream Pagrus major were examined under controlled laboratory conditions. In the first experiment, eggs of red sea bream were exposed to different salinity stresses [34 (control), 30, 26, 22, 18, 14 psu] for 3 h. In the second experiment, eggs were exposed to higher turbidity levels of 100, 300, 500, and 700 NTU from 0 NTU (control) obtained by dissolving kaolin clay for the same duration as in the first experiment. The results showed that the embryos of red sea bream are tolerant to short-term exposure to low salinity stress. There were no significant differences in the hatching rate, yolk sac consumption of newly hatched larvae, or survival of larvae at 6 days post-hatching. However, the short exposure to turbidity stress reduced the hatching rate, total length, and yolk sac volume of newly hatched larvae, and larval viability of red sea bream. Turbidity had a significant impact on the abnormality rate at hatching, with higher values observed for elevated turbidity.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. Alderdice DF, Velsen FPJ (1978) Effects of short-term storage of gametes on fertilization pf Pacific herring eggs. Helgol Mar Res 31:485–498

  2. Anderson JT (1988) A review of size dependent survival during pre-recruit stages of fishes in relation to recruitment. J Northw Atl Fish Sci 8:55–66

  3. Arisman N, Istiqomad N, Yoshimatsu T (2018) Impact of short-term hyposalinity stress on Akoya pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata (Gould 1850). Asian Fish Sci 31:265–275

  4. Ayson FG, Kaneko T, Hasegawa S, Hirano T (1994) Development of mitochondrion-rich cells in the yolk-sac membrane of embryos and larvae of tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus, in fresh water and seawater. J Exp Zool 270:129–135

  5. Ching FF, Nakagawa Y, Kato K, Murata O, Miyashita S (2012) Effects of delayed first feeding on the survival and growth of tiger grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus (Forsskal, 1775), larvae. Aquac Res 43:303–310

  6. Cumming H, Herbert NA (2016) Gill structural change in response to turbidity has no effect on the oxygen uptake of a juvenile sparid fish. Conserv Physiol.

  7. Diederich CM, Jarrett JN, Chaparro OR, Segura CJ, Arellano SM, Pechenik JA (2011) Low salinity stress experienced by larvae does not affect post-metamorphic growth or survival in three calyptraeid gastropods. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 397:94–105

  8. Eskandari G, Saghavi H, Najafabadi MZ, Madiseh SD, Koochaknejad E (2013) Effect of salinity on reproductive performance of Acanthopagrus latus (Houttuyn) in spawning tanks. Aquac Res 44:588–595

  9. Foscarini R (1988) A review: intensive farming procedure for red sea bream (Pagrus major) in Japan. Aquaculture 72:191–246

  10. Fridman S, Bron J, Rana K (2012) Influence of salinity on embryogenesis, survival, growth and oxygen consumption in embryos and yolk-sac larvae of the Nile tilapia. Aquaculture 334–337:182–190

  11. Fukuhara O (1985) Functional morphology and behavior of early life stages of red sea bream. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 51:731–743

  12. Fushimi H (2001) Production of juvenile marine finfish for stock enhancement in Japan. Aquaculture 200:33–53

  13. Garrido S, Ben-Hamadou R, Santos AMP, Ferreira S, Teodósio MA, Cotano U, Irigoien X, Peck MA, Saiz E, Ré P (2015) Born small, die young: intrinsic, size-selective mortality in marine larval fish. Sci Rep.

  14. Geffen AJ (2002) Length of herring larvae in relation to age and time of hatching. J Fish Biol 60:479–485

  15. Gray SM, Chapman LJ, Mandrak NE (2012) Turbidity reduces hatching success in threatened spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus). Environ Biol Fish 94:689–694

  16. Griffin FJ, Pillai MC, Vines CA, Kaaria J, Hibbard-Robbins T, Yanagimachi R, Cherr GN (1998) Effects of salinity on sperm motility, fertilization, and development in the Pacific herring, Clupea pallasi. Bio Bull 194:25–35

  17. Griffin FJ, Smith EH, Vines CA, Cherr GN (2009) Impacts of suspended sediments on fertilization, embryonic development, and early larval life stages of the Pacific herring, Clupea pallasi. Biol Bull 216:175–187

  18. Harley CDG, Hughes AR, Hultgren KM, Miner BG, Sorte CJB, Thornber CS, Rodriguez LF, Tomanek L, Williams SL (2006) The impacts of climate change in coastal marine systems. Ecol Lett 9:228–241

  19. Hart PR, Purser GJ (1995) Effects of salinity and temperature on eggs and yolk sac larvae of the greenback flounder Rhombosolea Tapirina (Günther, 1862). Aquaculture 136:221–230

  20. Holliday FGT, Jones MP (1967) Some effects of salinity on the developing eggs and larvae of the plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). J Mar Biol Ass UK 47:39–48

  21. Hollowed AB, Barange M, Beamish RJ, Brander K, Cochrane K, Drinkwater K, Foreman MGG, Hare JA, Holt J, Ito S, Kim S, King JR, Loeng H, Mackenzie BR, Mueter FJ, Okey TA, Peck MA, Radchenko VI, Rice JC, Schirripa MJ, Yatsu A, Yamanaka Y (2013) Projected impacts of climate change on marine fish and fisheries. ICES J Mar Sci 70(5):1023–1037

  22. Houde ED (1987) Fish early life dynamics and recruitment variability. Am Fish Soc Symp 2:17–29

  23. Isono RS, Kita J, Setoguma T (1998) Acute effects of kaolinite suspension on eggs and larvae of some marine teleosts. Comp Biochem Physiol C 120:449–455

  24. Kaneko T, Shiraishi K, Katoh F, Hasegawa S, Hiroi J (2002) Chloride cells during early life stages of fish and their functional differentiation. Fish Sci 68:1–9

  25. Kucera CJ, Faulk CK, Holt GJ (2002) The effects of parental acclimation to spawning salinity on the survival of larval Cynoscion nebulosus. J Fish Biol 61:726–738

  26. Lee CS, Menu B (1981) Effects of salinity on egg development and hatching in grey mullet Mugil cephalus L. J Fish Biol 19:179–188

  27. Lee CS, Hu F, Hirano R (1981) Salinity tolerance of fertilized eggs and larval survival in the fish Sillago sihama. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 4:169–174

  28. Martin KLM (2015) Beach-spawning fishes: reproduction in an endangered ecosystem. CRC Press, Boca Raton

  29. Mikhailenko VG (2000) Salinity stress induced changes in the resistance of embryos of the white sea herring Clupea pallasi marisalbi to freshwater. Russ J Mar Biol 26:370–372

  30. Montory JA, Chaparro OR, Pechenik JA, Diederich CM, Cubillos VM (2014) Impacts of short-term salinity stress on larval development of the marine gastropod Crepipatella fecunda (Calyptraeidae). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 458:39–45

  31. Mozes N, Papandroulakis N, Vergara JM, Biswas A, Takii K, Ntatsopoulos A (2011) Production systems. In: Pavlidis MA, Mylonas CC (eds) Sparidae: biology and aquaculture of gilthead sea bream and other species. Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, pp 169–198

  32. Muncy RJ (1962) Life history of the yellow perch, Perca flavescens, in the estuarine waters of severn river, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Chesap Sci 3:143–159

  33. Pankhurst NW, Munday PL (2011) Effects of climate change on fish reproduction and early life history stages. Mar Freshw Res 62:1015–1026

  34. Pepin P (1991) Effect of temperature and size on development, mortality, and survival rates of the pelagic early life history stages of marine fish. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 48:503–518

  35. Pérez-Robles J, Diaz F, Ibarra-Castro L, Giffard-Mena I, Re AD, Ibarra LER, Soto JAI (2016) Effects of salinity on osmoregulation during the embryonic development of the bullseye puffer (Sphoeroides annulatus Jenyns 1842). Aquac Res 47:838–846

  36. Phan TCT, Oka H, Shahabuddin AM, Yoshimatsu T (2017) Impact of salinity and turbidity changes on survival and growth of Sargassum fusiforme germlings. Aquac Sci 65(4):331–338

  37. Poloczanska ES, Limpus CJ, Hays GC (2009) Vulnerable of marine turtle to climate change. In: Sims DW (ed) Advances in marine biology, vol 56. Elsevier, Atlanta, pp 152–191

  38. Pörtner HO, Peck MA (2010) Climate change effects on fishes and fisheries towards a cause-and-effect understanding. J Fish Biol 77:1745–1779

  39. Rao TR (1974) Influence of salinity on the eggs and larvae of the California killifish Fundulus parvipinnis. Mar Biol 24:155–162

  40. Rijnsdorp AD, Peck MA, Engelhard GH, Mollmann C, Pinnegar JK (2009) Resolving the effect of climate change on fish population. ICES J Mar Sci 66(7):1570–1583

  41. Rudneva I (2014) Biomarkers for stress in fish embryos and larvae. CRC Press, Boca Raton

  42. Swanson C (1996) Early development of milkfish: effects of salinity on embryonic and larval metabolism, yolk absorption and growth. J Fish Biol 48:405–421

  43. Tanaka M (1985) Factors affecting the inshore migration of pelagic larval and demersal juvenile red sea bream Pagrus major to a nursery ground. Trans Am Fish Soc 114:471–477

  44. Thrush SF, Hewitt JE, Cumming VJ, Ellis JI, Hatton C, Lohrer A, Norkko A (2004) Muddy waters: elevating sediment input to coastal and estuarine habitats. Front Ecol Environ 2:299–306

  45. Tomanek L, Zuzow MJ, Hitt L, Serafina L, Valenzuela JJ (2012) Proteomics of hyposaline stress in blue mussel congeners (genus Mytilus): implications for biogeographic range limits in response to climate change. J Exp Biol 215:390–53916

  46. von Westernhagen H (1988) Sublethal effects of pollutant on fish eggs and larvae. In: Hoar WS, Randall DJ (eds) Fish physiology, vol 11A. Academic Press, London, pp 253–346

  47. Watanabe WO, Alam MD, Carroll PM, Daniels HV, Hinshaw JM (2019) Marine finfish aquaculture. In: Lucas JS et al (eds) Aquaculture: farming aquatic animals and plants, 3rd edn. Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, pp 437–482

  48. Whitfield AK (1999) Ichthyofaunal assemblages in estuaries: a South African case study. Rev Fish Biol Fisher 9:151–186

  49. Wojtczak M, Kowalski R, Dobosz S, Goryczko K, Kúzminski H, Glogowski J, Ciereszko A (2004) Assessment of water turbidity for evaluation of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) egg quality. Aquaculture 242:617–624

  50. Yang Z, Chen Y (2006) Salinity tolerance of embryos of obscure puffer Takifugu obscurus. Aquaculture 253:393–397

  51. Zhang G, Shi Y, Zhu Y, Liu J, Zang W (2010) Effects of salinity on embryos and larvae of tawny puffer Takifugu flavidus. Aquaculture 302:71–75

Download references


We are grateful to the members of the laboratory of Shallow Sea Aquaculture, Mie University, for their kind support during the experiment.

Author information

Correspondence to Takao Yoshimatsu.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Phan, T.C.T., Manuel, A.V., Tsutsui, N. et al. Impacts of short-term salinity and turbidity stress on the embryonic stage of red sea bream Pagrus major. Fish Sci 86, 119–125 (2020).

Download citation


  • Embryos
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Pagrus major
  • Salinity
  • Turbidity