Effects of temperature during early life history on embryonic and larval development and growth in haddock

Authors

  • D. J. Martell,

    Corresponding author
    1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St Andrews Biological Station, 531 Brandy Cove Road, St Andrews, NB, E5B 2L9, Canada and
    2. Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, P. O. Box 5050, Saint John, NB, E2L 4L5, Canada
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  • J. D. Kieffer,

    1. Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, P. O. Box 5050, Saint John, NB, E2L 4L5, Canada
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  • E. A. Trippel

    1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St Andrews Biological Station, 531 Brandy Cove Road, St Andrews, NB, E5B 2L9, Canada and
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Tel: +1 506 529 5889; fax: +1 506 529 5862; email: martelldj@mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Abstract

The effect of incubation temperature (2, 4, 6, 8 and 10° C) on haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus development and growth during the embryonic period and in subsequent ontogeny in a common post-hatch thermal environment (6° C) was investigated. Hatching times were inversely proportional to incubation temperature and ranged from 20·3 days at 2° C to 9·1 days at 10° C. Growth rates were directly proportional to incubation temperature during both the embryonic and larval periods. There was a significant decline in growth rates following hatch in all temperature groups. Compared to the endogenously feeding embryos, growth rates in the exogenous period declined by 4·4-fold at 4° C to 3·9-fold at 8° C, indicative of the demarcation between the endogenous and exogenous feeding periods. Yolk utilization varied from 17 days at 2° C to 6 days at 10° C and followed a three-stage sigmoidal pattern with the initial lag period inversely proportional to incubation temperature. Time to 50% yolk depletion varied inversely with temperature but occurred 1–1·5 days post-hatch at all temperatures. Additionally, the period between 10 and 90% yolk depletion also decreased with increased temperature. Overall developmental rate was sequential with and directly proportional (2·3-fold increase) to incubation temperature while the time spent in each developmental stage was inversely proportional to temperature. Larger embryos tended to be produced at lower temperatures but this pattern reversed following hatch, as larvae from higher temperature groups grew more rapidly than those from other temperature groups. Larvae from all temperatures achieved a similar length (c.total length 4·5 mm) upon complete yolk absorption. The study demonstrated the significant impact that temperature has upon developmental and growth rates in both endogenous and exogenous feeding periods. It also illustrated that temperature changes during embryogenesis had significant and persistent effects on growth in subsequent ontogeny.

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