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Exploring the Generality of Recruitment Hypotheses for Largemouth Bass along a Latitudinal Gradient of Florida Lakes
 

Summary: Exploring the Generality of Recruitment Hypotheses for
Largemouth Bass along a Latitudinal Gradient of Florida Lakes
MARK W. ROGERS* AND MICHEAL S. ALLEN
University of Florida, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences,
7922 Northwest 71st Street, Gainesville, Florida 32653, USA
Abstract.--Latitudinal influences on growing season length and winter severity cause variation in
prerecruitment life history across species distributions. We evaluated two recruitment hypotheses for a
broadly distributed species, largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, at the southern extent of their natural
range. We tested (1) whether early hatching provided a growth and survival advantage relative to later
hatching through their first summer and (2) whether overwinter size-selective mortality strongly influenced
recruitment to age 1 across Florida's latitudinal gradient. We sampled the 2003 and 2004 year-classes at six
Florida lakes that spanned latitudes from 27800
N to 30850
N. Our results did not fully conform to our
hypotheses or the results frequently reported from more northerly latitudes because largemouth bass that
hatched early did not exhibit a growth and survival advantage at all lakes and we did not detect strong size-
selective overwinter mortality. Early hatching at south Florida lakes resulted in slow growth for three of four
lake and year combinations and early-hatched fish never exhibited a survival advantage relative to later-
hatched fish, which was probably due to cool water temperatures soon after hatching. Environmental
variability influenced the interactions between hatching period, growth, and survival for Florida's largemouth

  

Source: Allen, Micheal S. - Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology