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Title: Environmental and parental influences on the body size of N.E. Atlantic herring, Clupea harengus, larvae.
Author: Morley, Simon Anthony.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3422 1766
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 1998
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Morley, S. A. (1998). Environmental and parental influences on the size of herring larvae. Ph.D. thesis submitted to the University of Liverpool for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Investigations were carried out into the effects of mean egg dry weight and incubation temperature on the size of larvae from four N.E. Atlantic herring stocks (Buchan, Manx, Clyde and Celtic Sea). Hatching characterisitics (length, weight and yolk volume) of Buchan, Manx and Clyde herring were investigated. The time of hatching was inversely related to incubation temperature, although there was some variation between experiments in the date of peak hatching. The total length of larvae increased through the hatching period. In all experiments mean egg dry weight per female was strongly related to the average length, weight and yolk volume of larvae at hatching. The same regression model could be applied to all stocks. There were, however, stock-specific responses of hatching characteristics to incubation temperature although a reduction in length at hatching at higher temperatures was the most consistent response. Development at low temperature resulted in a modification of the length-weight relationship; larvae of the same weight were longer at lower temperatures. Both the increase in length of larvae during the hatching period and the variation in the timing of peak hatching have implications for the comparison of larvae hatching at different temperatures. The otoliths of Manx herring larvae [from "large" (> 0.33mg mean dry weight) and "small" «0.2Smg mean dry weight) eggs] were marked with either alizarin complexone or calcein so that larvae from pairs of large and small egg batches could be reared under identical conditions (at both 10 and I3.S0C) and relative growth monitored. Within each rearing tank large eggs generally produced larger larvae at hatch (length and weight) with higher growth rates (both weight and length specific). There were significant differences both between eggs from different females and between rearing tanks that confounded the comparisons between rearing temperatures. Fultons Condition factor is not thought to be a good measure of nutritional condition of herring larvae smaller than ISmm total length but may be used as a relative measure of body reserves (ReF) and give an indication of ability to withstand periods of poor feeding. This is indicated by a period of high mortality of larvae hatched from small eggs at 10°C, which corresponded with the time period when these larvae had the lowest body reserves. Video recording of the foraging behaviour of laboratory reared herring larvae was used to investigate differences between the feeding strategies of groups of larvae of the same size but different ages, i.e. fast and slow growers. Slow growing larvae searched larger areas, thus expending more energy, than fast growing larvae, but there was no difference in food acquisition. The difference in behaviour tended to increase through development A simple energetics calculation suggested that approximately 50% of the difference in growth rate could be explained by the extra swimming costs of slower growing larvae. The size of Celtic Sea and Manx herring eggs were experimentally reduced in order to investigate if the volume of yolk in each egg determines the size of hatching larvae. Length at hatch was determined by the volume of yolk in each egg but body weight was not. The development and chemical composition of embryos and larvae needs to be investigated in a further series of experiments. All results are discussed in terms of the influence of larval size on survival.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hatching; Growth rate; Egg size