Larval coral-reef fishes have good orientation abilities. Through-water orientation of larvae in some species is location-dependent at meso-scales 90% of larvae swam directionally with similar precision and speeds, and with significant amongindividual orientation. Yet through-water orientation was easterly at CGBR (72 ± 30°) and NCRL (87 ± 20°), and significantly different from NGBR. Over-bottom orientation (i.e. the result of current and larval swimming), measured by GPS at start and end of observing each larva, was weak east-southeasterly at NGBR (116 ± 40°, p = 0.045), not significantly directional at CGBR, and strongly westerly at NCRL (246 ± 28°, p = 0.0006), indicating that dispersal of C. atripectoralis is both current-and behaviour-dependent. This is the first report of location-dependent larval fish orientation at a regional scale. This might be an evolutionary response to regional hydrodynamic conditions to limit downstream dispersal.
- Regional differences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics