Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Coral reef fish larvae settle close to home

26.07.2005


Tracing the larvae of marine organisms from where they were born to their ultimate destination has been regarded as one of the greatest challenges in ocean science. Managers of marine reserves areas have eagerly sought this information to help determine the optimal size and spacing of marine reserves; well-planned reserves should help ensure that protected populations can sustain themselves as well as provide a source of larvae to maintain exploited populations in areas open to fishing. In a new study, researchers have managed to uncover the patterns of local dispersion for a small coral reef fish species by employing a combination of inventive tracking techniques. In addition to providing ecological information about one particular fish species, the work suggests ways that the ecology of other fish can be studied and applied to strategies for the maintenance of stable populations.



Most marine fishes start their lives as tiny larvae, smaller than a millimeter, and any thought of tagging them to track their movements was once considered impossible. However, researchers Geoff Jones from James Cook University (Australia), Serge Planes from the University of Perpignan (France), and Simon Thorrold from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have overcome this problem with a novel application of DNA paternity analysis, in combination with a means of marking larvae with the antibiotic tetracycline. They show that for the panda clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus), a significant proportion of larvae ultimately move less than a few hundred meters away from their parents. In fact, the researchers found that one third of juveniles settled within a so-called "natal area" covering just two hectares (less than five acres). Although the other two-thirds of the fish have yet to be traced, they appear to have travelled in excess of 10 km (6.2 mi) away from their birth site. The study also shows that although no individuals returned to their parents, a few made their home less than 50 meters away. (Hence, the authors point out, Nemo the clownfish may not have been living with his dad, but he might have settled just down the street.)

Although clownfish spend a relatively short period of time as larvae (approximately 10 days), the results are significant because they document the smallest scale of dispersal known for a marine fish species. Clownfish are subject to a thriving aquarium-fish trade in many tropical countries, and their numbers have been seriously depleted. This study provides real hope that marine reserves can provide the right balance between conserving such species and exploiting them in a sustainable manner.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.current-biology.com

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>