TitleGrowth variation in larval Makaira nigricans
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsSponaugle, S, Denit, KL, Luthy, SA, Serafy, JE, Cowen, RK
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The Atlantic blue marlin Makaira nigricans larvae were collected from Exuma Sound, Bahamas and the Straits of Florida over three summers (2000-2002). Sagittal otoliths were extracted and read under light microscopy to determine relationships between standard length (L-S) and age for larvae from each year and location. Otolith growth trajectories were significantly different between locations: after the first 5-6 days of life, larvae from Exuma Sound grew significantly faster than larvae from the Straits of Florida. Exponential regression coefficients were similar among years for Exuma Sound larvae (mean instantaneous growth rate, G(L)=0.125), but differed between years for larvae from the Straits of Florida (G(L)=0-086-0-089). Differences in larval growth rates between locations resulted in a 4-6mm difference in L-S by day 15 of larval life. These differences in growth appeared to be unrelated to mean ambient water temperatures, and may have been caused by location-specific differences in prey composition or availability. Alternatively, population-specific differences in maternal condition may have contributed to these differences in early larval growth. (c) 2005 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

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