Storm-related variation in the growth-rate of otoliths of larval Atlantic menhaden <i>Brevoortia tyrannus</i>: a time series analysis of biological and physical variables and implications for larva growth and mortality

Citation:
Maillet, GL, Checkley DM.  1991.  Storm-related variation in the growth-rate of otoliths of larval Atlantic menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus: a time series analysis of biological and physical variables and implications for larva growth and mortality. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 79:1-16.

Date Published:

Dec

Keywords:

arcto-norwegian cod, capelin mallotus-villosus, class strength, engraulis-mordax, gulf menhaden, northern anchovy, pelagic fish, plankton contact rates, small-scale, turbulence, winter storm

Abstract:

Vertical mixing induced by storms is hypothesized to modify the spatial and temporal availability of food to fish larvae and thus influence their feeding and growth. We investigated the effects of storms on sagitta growth rates of 2 age classes (3 to 15 d and 16 to 50 d, post-hatching) of larval Atlantic menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus during winter 1986 in Onslow Bay, North Carolina, USA. We tested the null hypothesis that sagitta growth rate of 3 to 15 d and 16 to 50 d old larvae is independent of the timing and intensity of storms by using transfer functions to investigate relationships among daily time series of sagitta growth rate and meterological and oceanographic variables. Variation in sagitta increment widith was greatest during the first 1 to 2 wk after hatching. Reduction in sagitta growth rate coincided with storms and corroborated laboratory results that growth increments are formed daily and stressful events are manifest in sagitta microstructure. Age-related trends in sagitta growth rate were observed for both age classes and were removed from the analysis by a standardization procedure. Fluctuation in sagitta growth rate for 3 to 15 d old larvae was inversely cross-correlated with time series of wind speed. Fluctuation in sagitta growth rate for 16 to 50 d old larvae was inversely cross-correlated with time series of wind speed and heat flux. The pattern of cross-correlations for 3 to 15 d old larvae indicated an immediate response of sagitta growth rate to periods of strong winds while sagitta growth rate in 16 to 50 d old larvae lagged strong winds and heat fluxes by 2 to 5 d. Transfer function models incorporating wind speed and heat flux accounted for 40 to 54% of sagitta growth rate variation. Reduction in larval Atlantic menhaden growth rate during early life is consistent with the critical period concept and may be related to dispersion and aggregation mechanisms coupled to wind-induced vertical mixing and its effect on food concentration and availability.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.3354/meps079001