Spatial and temporal variation in settlement, growth and condition of the rockfish species Sebastes caurinus and Sebastes carnatus in the Channel Islands region, Santa Barbara, CA

Soccodato, Alice (2011) Spatial and temporal variation in settlement, growth and condition of the rockfish species Sebastes caurinus and Sebastes carnatus in the Channel Islands region, Santa Barbara, CA. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna, Documento ad accesso riservato.
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Survival during the early life stages of marine species, including nearshore temperate reef fishes, is typically very low, and small changes in mortality rates, due to physiological and environmental conditions, can have marked effects on survival of a cohort and, on a larger scale, on the success of a recruitment season. Moreover, trade offs between larval growth and accumulation of energetic resources prior to settlement are likely to influence growth and survival until this critical period and afterwards. Rockfish recruitment rates are notoriously variable between years and across geographic locations. Monitoring of rates of onshore delivery of pelagic juveniles (defined here as settlement) of two species of nearshore rockfishes, Sebastes caurinus and Sebastes carnatus, was done between 2003-2009 years using artificial collectors placed at San Miguel and Santa Cruz Island, off Southern California coast. I investigated spatiotemporal variation in settlement rate, lipid content, pelagic larval duration and larval growth of the newly settled fishes; I assessed relationships between birth date, larval growth, early life-history characteristics and lipid content at settlement, considering also interspecific differences; finally, I attempt to relate interannual patterns of settlement and of early life history traits to easily accessible, local and regional indices of ocean conditions including in situ ocean temperature and regional upwelling, sea surface temperature (SST) and Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration. Spatial variations appeared to be of low relevance, while significant interannual differences were detected in settlement rate, pelagic larval duration and larval growth. The amount of lipid content of the newly settled fishes was highly variable in space and time, but did not differ between the two species and did not show any relationships with early life history traits, indicating that no trade off involved these physiological processes or they were masked by high individual variability in different periods of larval life. Significant interspecific differences were found in the timing of parturition and settlement and in larval growth rates, with S. carnatus growing faster and breeding and settling later than S. caurinus. The two species exhibited also different patterns of correlations between larval growth rates and larval duration. S. carnatus larval duration was longer when the growth in the first two weeks post-hatch was faster, while S. caurinus had a shorter larval duration when grew fast in the middle and in the end of larval life, suggesting different larval strategies. Fishes with longer larval durations were longer in size at settlement and exhibited longer planktonic phase in periods of favourable environmental conditions. Ocean conditions had a low explanatory power for interannual variation in early life history traits, but a very high explanatory power for settlement fluctuations, with regional upwelling strength being the principal indicator. Nonetheless, interannual variability in larval duration and growth were related to great phenological changes in upwelling happened during the period of this study and that caused negative consequences at all trophic levels along the California coast. Despite the low explanatory power of the environmental variables used in this study on the variation of larval biological traits, environmental processes were differently related with early life history characteristics analyzed to species, indicating possible species-specific susceptibility to ocean conditions and local environmental adaptation, which should be further investigated. These results have implications for understanding the processes influencing larval and juvenile survival, and consequently recruitment variability, which may be dependent on biological characteristics and environmental conditions.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Soccodato, Alice
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Sebastes, settlement, early life history traits, oceanographic processes
Data di discussione della Tesi
31 Marzo 2011

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