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Limnol. Oceanogr.. 44(3), 1999, 494-5Ol O 1999, by the American S@iety of Limology md Oceanography, Inc.
 

Summary: Limnol. Oceanogr.. 44(3), 1999, 494-5Ol
O 1999, by the American S@iety of Limology md Oceanography, Inc.
Adaptive strategiesthat reduce predation on Caribbean spiny lobster postlarvae during
onshoretransport
Charles A. Acostat and Mark J. Butler IV
Department of Biological Sciences,Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0266
Abstract
Like many marine specieswith meroplanktonic larvae, the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) has a postlarval
stage that moves from the oceanic plankton to inshore nurseries only under specific environmental conditions (i.e., at
night, in the surface water layer, on the flood tide, and during new moon), presumably to avoid predation or to enhance
onshore transport. Using field and mesocosm experiments, we compared predation on planlConic postlarvae swimming
at night near the surface and bottom over coastal habitats along typical offshore-inshore transport paths and determined
whether predation rates differed between lunar periods (new moon vs. full moon) and with prey density (i.e., predator
encounter rates). We also measured predation on transparent (newly settled) and pigmented (nearing metamorphosis)
postlarvae sheltering in coral reef, seagrass,and macroalgal habitats during the day.
We measured predation on postlarvae swimming near the surface and bottom along typical offshore-inshore
transport paths (i.e., coral reefs, coastal lagoon, and bay) by tethering postlarvae to floats that drifted on the nightly
flood tide during new moon. To test the hypothesis that new-moon transport of postlarvae may have evolved as a
means to avoid higher predation under the bright full moon, we repeated the pelagic tethering experiments at the
reef and in the bay during full moon. Mortality was highest over coral reefs regardless of lunar phase, but it was

  

Source: Acosta, Charles A. - Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology