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, 521 129-141. doi:10.3354/meps11136

Author McLeod, I. M.
McCormick, M. I.
Munday, P. L.
Clark, T. D.
Wenger, A. S.
Brooker, R. M.
Takahashi, M.
Jones, G. P.
Title Latitudinal variation in larval development of coral reef fishes: implications of a warming ocean
Journal name Marine Ecology Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
Publication date 2015-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps11136
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 521
Start page 129
End page 141
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Formatted abstract
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.
Keyword Climate change
Growth rate
Latitudinal comparison
Lemon damselfish
Life history plasticity
Pelagic larval duration
Tail-spot wrasse
Thermal reaction norm
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 03 Apr 2017, 16:05:06 EST by Amelia Wenger on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)