Environmental factors affecting the early life history of bay anchovy Anchoa mitchilli in Great South Bay, New York

L. R. Castro, R. K. Cowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Duration of peak spawning season was highly correlated with larval food abundance in the field, but not correlated with salinity or temperature. Cohort mortality rates were lower in the middle of the peak spawning season (when food availability was maximum) and higher at the beginning and end of the spawning season. Since the duration of the high microzooplankton abundance is so short (4-5 wk) and because of the high energy requirements of young bay anchovy, it is proposed that adult bay anchovy spawn during the season of maximum food availability thus enhancing offspring survival. No difference was found between eelgrass and unvegetated areas in: egg or larval density, larval growth rates, or egg and yolk sac larvae mortalities. Mortality rates of older larvae (>3 d old), however, were higher in eelgrass beds than in unvegetated areas. Increased mortality rates in the vegetated areas seem to result from higher levels of predation. Duration of spawning season in Great South Bay is among the shortest reported in the literature, and decreased with increasing latitude; average mortality rates were similar to those reported for populations located at other areas; average larval growth rates tended to be higher in Great South Bay in spite of the lower temperatures during the spawning season. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-247
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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