Patterns of biogeographic and regional life-history trait variation in four large-bodied tropical wrasses.

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From: Marine Biology(Vol. 169, Issue 9)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Article
Length: 9,399 words
Lexile Measure: 1700L

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Abstract :

Ectotherms display substantial demographic variation across latitudinal gradients of temperature. Higher temperatures are often associated with smaller size, rapid initial growth rates, and early maturation, generally described as the Temperature-Size Rule (TSR). The longevity of most ectotherms also declines at warmer, lower latitudes. However, these patterns may be modified by increases in food resources that can flow on to continuous growth and large adult size. The present study estimates age-based demographic parameters of large-bodied tropical wrasses (Hemigymnus melapterus, H. fasciatus, Cheilinus fasciatus, and Oxycheilinus digramma) collected from Philippine fish markets (9-11°N) and sampled from Palm (18.53-18.70°S) and Whitsunday (20.05-20.21°S) reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (GBR). Differences in longevity, initial growth rates, and the age at sexual maturation at a biogeographic scale, between the Philippines and GBR, conformed to predictions of the TSR. However, Philippine specimens exhibited greater relative body condition and sustained periods of growth beyond sexual maturity resulting in larger adult size than GBR samples. Size-structure data from Philippine marine reserves and fished sites indicated that these differences were not confounded by fishery-dependent sampling. Moreover, latitudinal length-weight relationships could not be explained by lower densities of the focal wrasses in the Philippines or by relative gonad size. Less pronounced patterns of demographic variation that differed across species were evident at a regional scale, among Palm and Whitsunday reefs. Patterns of demographic variation between the Philippines and GBR strongly suggest that differences in food resource levels will be important in explaining the observed geographic variation.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A714744506