Latitudinal variation in larval development of coral reef fishes: implications of a warming ocean

McLeod, I. M., McCormick, M. I., Munday, P. L., Clark, T. D., Wenger, A. S., Brooker, R. M., Takahashi, M. and Jones, G. P. 2015, Latitudinal variation in larval development of coral reef fishes: implications of a warming ocean, Marine ecology progress series, vol. 521, pp. 129-141, doi: 10.3354/meps11136.

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Title Latitudinal variation in larval development of coral reef fishes: implications of a warming ocean
Author(s) McLeod, I. M.
McCormick, M. I.
Munday, P. L.
Clark, T. D.ORCID iD for Clark, T. D.
Wenger, A. S.
Brooker, R. M.
Takahashi, M.
Jones, G. P.
Journal name Marine ecology progress series
Volume number 521
Start page 129
End page 141
Total pages 13
Publisher Inter-Research
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publication date 2015
ISSN 0171-8630
Keyword(s) climate change
growth rate
life history plasticity
latitudinal comparison
lemon damselfish
pelagic larval duration
tail-spot wrasse
thermal reaction norm
Summary Latitudinal gradients in water temperature may be useful for predicting the likely responses of marine species to global warming. The ranges of coral reef fishes extend into the warmest oceanic waters on the planet, but the comparative life-history traits across their full latitudinal range are unknown. Here, we examined differences in early life-history traits of 2 coral reef fishes, the damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis and the wrasse Halichoeres melanurus, among 8 locations across 21° of latitude, from northern Papua New Guinea (2.3°S) to the southern Great Barrier Reef (23.3°S). Water temperature during larval development ranged between 25.6 and 29.8°C among sites, with the warmest sites closest to the equator. Recently settled juveniles were collected and otolith microstructure was analysed to estimate pelagic larval duration (PLD), daily growth, and size at settlement. Latitudinal comparisons revealed a non-linear relationship between temperature and each of PLD, larval growth and size at settlement. PLD declined with increasing temperature up to approx. 28 to 29°C, above which it stabilised in P. moluccensis and increased in H. melanurus. Larval growth increased with increasing temperature up to approx. 28 to 29°C before stabilising in P. moluccensis and decreasing in H. melanurus. Size at settlement tended to be highest at mid-latitudes, but overall declined with increasing temperature above 28.5°C in both species. These results indicate that the thermal optima for growth and development is reached or surpassed at low latitudes, such that populations at these latitudes may be particularly vulnerable to global warming.
Language eng
DOI 10.3354/meps11136
Field of Research 0602 Ecology
0608 Zoology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Inter-Research
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Free to Read Start Date 2020-02-18
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