February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Larval development and early life history of a temperate reef fish – implications for the design and implementation of MPAs

Scientific Exhibition
Habitat Loss and Ocean Noise
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
17:30 to 19:30

Solomon, F. 1 Rodrigues, D. 2 Afonso, J. 3 Serrão, E.A. 4 Gonçalves, E.J. 5 Borges, R. 6

1Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, R. Jardim Tabaco, 34. Lisbon, Portugal
3Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
4Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
5MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, R. Jardim Tabaco, 34. Lisbon, Portugal
6MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, R. Jardim Tabaco, 34. Lisbon, Portugal

An understanding of population connectivity and the scale of larval dispersal is important for the design and implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) or networks of marine protected areas. In demersal reef fish early life history characteristics and behaviour during the pelagic larval phase interact with oceanographic processes and habitat characteristics to determine the extent of larval dispersal and connectivity. In this study we examined early life history traits and larval development of the black-faced blenny, Tripterygion delaisi, from the Arrábida Marine Park, Portugal. We described distinctive morphometric and meristic characteristics which are central to identifying this species from related taxa. Growth coefficients generated from bivariate morphological relationships indicated that most of the body proportions of T. delaisi exhibited allometric growth during larval development. When inflexion points of growth were detected, growth was biphasic. Considering allometric growth patterns and ontogenetic descriptions together, the 1st developmental phase includes the preflexion and flexion stage larvae, while the 2nd phase characterizes the postflexion larvae prior to the transition from larvae to juvenile. Several early life history parameters (instantaneous growth rates, size-at-hatching and size-at-settlement) derived from otolith microstructure analyses were similar to that obtained for other demersal reef fish. Pelagic larval duration, ranged between 29 and 34 with a mean of 31.75 ± 1.54 days. These estimates are higher than obtained from previous studies conducted in the Mediterranean on T. delaisi. The characteristics of this pelagic larval stage may have consequences for larval dispersal and connectivity and hence for the design and implementation of marine protected areas.
keywords: 
larval dispersal, population connectivity, Marine Protected Areas, Portugal,

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