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Moonlight enhances growth in larval fish

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journal contribution
posted on 28.09.2020 by Jeffrey Shima, SE Swearer
© 2018 by the Ecological Society of America Moonlight mediates trophic interactions and shapes the evolution of life-history strategies for nocturnal organisms. Reproductive cycles and important life-history transitions for many marine organisms coincide with moon phases, but few studies consider the effects of moonlight on pelagic larvae at sea. We evaluated effects of moonlight on growth of pelagic larvae of a temperate reef fish using “master chronologies” of larval growth constructed from age-independent daily increment widths recorded in otoliths of 321 individuals. We found that daily growth rates of fish larvae were enhanced by lunar illumination after controlling for the positive influence of temperature and the negative influence of cloud cover. Collectively, these results indicate that moonlight enhances growth rates of larval fish. This pattern is likely the result of moonlight's combined effects on foraging efficiency and suppression of diel migrations of mesopelagic predators, and has the potential to drive evolution of marine life histories.

History

Preferred citation

Shima, J. S. & Swearer, S. E. (2019). Moonlight enhances growth in larval fish. Ecology, 100(1), e02563-. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2563

Journal title

Ecology

Volume

100

Issue

1

Publication date

01/01/2019

Pagination

e02563

Publisher

Wiley

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

14/12/2018

ISSN

0012-9658

eISSN

1939-9170

Article number

ARTN e02563

Language

en

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