Skip to main content

Turbidity enhances feeding abilities of larval Pacific herring, Clupea harengus pallasi

Abstract

Fishes inhabiting estuaries, rivers, and embayments are subject to turbid conditions. Larvae of many fishes utilize estuaries as nursery areas. For visual plankton feeders such as larval fishes, turbidity may reduce search and reaction distances, resulting in lowered feeding abilities. In this study feeding Pacific herring larvae, Clupea harengus pallasi, were exposed to suspensions of estuarine sediment and Mount Saint Helens volcanic ash at concentrations ranging from 0 mg · l−1 to 8 000 mg · l−1. In all experiments, maximum feeding incidence and intensity occurred at levels of suspension of either 500 mg · l−1 or 1000 mg · l−1 with values significantly greater than controls (0 mg · l−1). Feeding decreased at greater concentrations. The suspensions may enhance feeding by providing visual contrast of prey items on the small perceptive scale used by the larvae. Larval residence in turbid environments such as estuaries may serve to reduce predation from larger, visual planktivores, while searching ability in the small larval perceptive field is not decreased.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Auld, A. H. & J. H. Schubel, 1978. Effects of suspended sediment on fish eggs and larvae: a laboratory assessment. Estuar. Coast. mar. Sci. 6: 153–164.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Blaber, S. J. M. & T. G. Blaber, 1980. Factors affecting the distribution of juvenile estuarine and inshore fish. J. Fish Biol. 17: 143–162.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Blaxter, J. H. S., 1968. Visual tresholds and spectral sensitivity of herring larvae. J. exp. Biol. 48: 39–53.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Blaxter, J. H. S., 1973. Monitoring the vertical movements and light responses of herring and plaice larvae. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 53: 635–647.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Blaxter, J. H. S., 1974. The eyes of larval fish. In M. A. Ali (ed.), Vision in Fishes. Plenum Press, N.Y.: 427–443.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Blaxter, J. H. S. & M. P. Jones, 1967. The development of the retina and retinomotor responses of the herring. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 47: 677–697.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Blaxter, J. H. S. & M. E. Staines, 1971. Food searching potential in marine fish larvae. In D. J. Crisp (ed.), 4th Europ. mar. Biol. Symp. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge: 467–485.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Boehlert, G. W., 1984 in press. Abrasive effects of Mt. St. Helens ash upon epidermis of yolk-sac larvae of Pacific herring, Clupea harengus pallasi. Mar. envir. Res. 12: 113–126.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Checkley, D. M., 1982. Selective feeding by Atlantic herring Clupea harengus larvae on zooplankton in natural assemblages. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 9: 245–253.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Confer, J. L. & P. I. Blades, 1975. Omnivorous zooplankton and planktivorous fish. Limnol. Oceanogr. 20: 571–579.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Confer, J. L., G. L. Howick, M. H. Corzette, S. L. Kramer, S. Fitzgibbon & R. Landesberg, 1978. Visual predation by planktivores. Oikos 31: 27–37.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Doan, K. H., 1941. Relation of sauger catch to turbidity in Lake Erie. Ohio J. Sci. 41: 449–452.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Ewart, J. W. & C. E. Epifanio, 1981. A tropical flagellate food for larval and juvenile oysters, (Crassostrea virginica) Gmelin. Aquaculture 22: 297–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Fruchter, J. S., D. E. Robertson, J. C. Evans, K. B. Olsen, E. A. Lepel, J. C. Laul, K. H. Abel, R. W. Sanders, P. D. Jackson, N. W. Wogman, R. W. Perkins, H. H. Van Tuyl, R. H. Beauchamp, J. W. Shade, J. L. Daniel, R. L. Erikson, G. A. Sehmel, R. N. Less, A. V. Robinson, O. R. Moss, J. K. Briant & W. C. Cannon, 1980. Mount St. Helens Ash from the 18 May 1980 eruption: Chemical, physical, mineralogical, and biological properties. Science 209: 1116–1125.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Gardner, M. B., 1981. Effects of turbidity on feeding rates and selectivity of bluegills. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 110: 446–450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Graham, J. J., 1972. Retention of larval herring within the Sheepscot Estuary of Maine. Fish. Bull., U.S. 70: 299–305.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Heinle, D. R. & D. A. Flemer, 1975. Carbon requirements of a population of the estuarine marine copepod Eurytemora affinis. Mar. Biol. 31: 235–247.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Houde, E. D., 1978. Critical food concentrations for larvae of three species of subtropical marine fishes. Bull. mar. Sci. 28: 395–411.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Howick, G. L. & W. J. O'Brien, 1983. Piscivorous feeding behavior of large mouth bass: An experimental analysis. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 112: 508–516.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Hunter, J. R., 1972. Swimming and feeding behavior of larval anchovy, Engraulis mordax. Fish. Bull., U.S. 70: 821–838.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Hunter, J. R. (ed.), 1976. Report of a colloquium on larval fish mortality studies and their relation to fishery research. Jan. 1975. NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS Circ. 395.

  22. Hunter, J. R., 1981. Feeding ecology and predation of marine fish larvae. In R. Lasker (ed.), Marine Fish Larvae. Washington Sea Grant, Seattle: 33–77.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Hunter, J. R., S. E. Kaupp & J. H. Taylor, 1981. Effects of solar and artificial ultraviolet-B radiation on larval northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax. Photochem. Photobiol. 34: 477–486.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Hunter, J. R., J. H. Taylor & H. G. Moser, 1979. Effect of ultraviolet irradiation on eggs and larvae of the northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax, and Pacific mackerel, Scomber japonicus, during the embryonic stage. Photochem. Photobiol. 27: 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Jones, M. P., F. G. T. Holliday & A. E. G. Dunn, 1966. The ultrastructure of the epidermis of larvae of the herring (Clupea harengus) in relation to the rearing salinity. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 46: 235–239.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Longwell, A. C. & J. B. Hughes, 1981. Cytologic, cytogenetic, and embryonic state of Atlantic mackerel eggs from surface waters of the New York Bight in relation to pollution. Rapp. P. V. Reun. Cons. Int. Explor. mer 178: 76–78.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Moore, J. W. & I. A. Moore, 1976. The basis of food selection in flounders, Platichthys flesus (L.) in the Severn estuary. J. Fish. Biol. 9: 139–156.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Muncy, R. J., G. J. Atchison, R. V. Bulkley, B. W. Menzel, L. G. Perry & R. G. Summerfelt, 1979. Effects of suspended solids and sediment on reproduction and early life of warm-water fishes: A review. U.S. Envir. Prot. Ag. Corvallis, Oregon, 101 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  29. O'Connell, C. P., 1981. Development of organ systems in the northern anchovy, Engraulis morclax and other teleosts. Am. Zool. 21: 429–446.

    Google Scholar 

  30. O'Connell, C. P. & L. P. Raymond, 1970. The effect of food density on survival and growth of Engraulis mordax (Girard) in the laboratory. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 5: 187–197.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Pearcy, W. G. & S. S. Myers, 1974. Larval fishes of Yaquina Bay, Oregon; A nursery ground for marine fishes? Fish. Bull., U.S. 72: 201–213.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Ritchie, J. C., 1972. Sediment, fish, and fish habitat. J. Soil Wat. Conserv. 27: 124–125.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Rosenthal, H., 1971. Wirkung von ‘Rotschlamm’ auf Embryonen und Larven des Herings, Clupea harengus. Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters. 22: 366–376.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Rosenthal, H. & D. F. Alderdice, 1976. Sublethal effects of environmental stressors, natural and pollutional, on marine fish eggs and larvae. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 33: 2047–2065.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Rosenthal, H. & G. Hempel, 1970. Experimental studies in feeding and food requirements of herring larvae (Clupea harengus L.). In J. H. Steele (ed.), Marine Food Chains. Univ. Calif. Press, Berkeley: 344–364.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Sherk, J. A., J. M. O'Connor & D. A. Neumann, 1975. Effects of suspended and deposited sediments on estuarine environments. In L. E. Cronin (ed.), Estuarine Research. Academic Press, N.Y. 2: 541–558.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Steinfeld, J. D., 1972. Distribution of Pacific herring spawn in Yaquina Bay, Oregon, and observations on mortality through hatching. M.S. Thesis, Ore. St. Univ., Corvallis, 75 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Swenson, W. A. & M. L. Matson, 1976. Influence of turbidity on survival, growth, and distribution of larval lake herring (Coregonus artedii). Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 105: 541–545.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Theilacker, G. H. & M. F. McMaster, 1971. Mass culture of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis and its evaluation as a food for larval anchovies. Mar. Biol. 10: 183–188.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Vinyard, G. L. & W. J. O'Brien, 1976. Effects of light and turbidity on the reactive distance of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 33: 2845–2849.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Weihs, D., 1980. Respiration and depth control as possible reasons for swimming of northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax, yolk-sac larvae. Fish. Bull., U.S. 78: 109–118.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Weinstein, M. P., S. L. Weiss, R. G. Hodson & L. R. Gerry, 1980. Retention of three taxa of postlarval fishes in an intensively flushed tidal estuary, Cape Fear River, North Carolina. Fish. Bull., U.S. 78: 419–436.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Boehlert, G.W., Morgan, J.B. Turbidity enhances feeding abilities of larval Pacific herring, Clupea harengus pallasi . Hydrobiologia 123, 161–170 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00018978

Download citation

Keywords

  • larvae
  • feeding
  • turbidity
  • volcanic ash
  • estuaries