Comparison of growth rates of larval Atlantic croaker collected near Corpus Christi and Galveston




Weigand, Angelina
Geist, Simon
McAskill, Shannan
Bromschwig, Michelle

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During their early life stages, larval fish are vulnerable to a variety of physical, biological, and environmental processes. The ability of larval fish to successfully capture prey items affects their body condition, growth rates, and ultimately survivorship. Previous studies on the larval diets of M. undulatus collected from October to November 2017 at two distinct locations Galveston, TX and Corpus Christi, TX showed significantly different diets at the two locations at the family level taxonomic resolution of prey items. The goal of this study was to determine if the M. undulatus between the two locations also have a difference in condition and growth rates that may be related to differences in diets and localized prey availability. Larvae for this study were collected approximately two to two and a half months following Hurricane Harvey, which may have changed the water quality which affects the growth of larval fish. Therefore, this study will also assess differences in environmental parameters between the two locations to determine the potential effects of the Hurricane. For that otoliths were extracted from larval M. undulatus and use otolith increment growth analyses to investigate the differences in their growth rates. The samples were divided into different categories including catch date, size class, and catch site. The two size classes that the study focuses on are 5.0-6.99 mm and 7.0-8.99 mm. By extracting, mounting, polishing, and measuring the otoliths from the collected samples, we are able to determine the growth rate and the age of the fish and expect to see differences between locations that may be caused by diet differences and water quality.



Marine, life science, nutrition, ocean, fitness



Attribution 4.0 International