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Fisheries Behavioral Ecology - Abstracts

Davis, M.W. 2001. Behavioral responses of walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, larvae to experimental gradients of sea water flow: implications for vertical distribution. Environmental Biology of Fishes 61:253-260.


Walleye pollock larvae under controlled laboratory conditions were exposed to vertical gradients of sea water flow in low and high light. Whether flow originated from the surface or the bottom, larvae responded by altering depth distribution, showing attraction to low flows, avoidance of higher flows and when flow was above a threshold level, loss of ability to orient, swim and feed. These results demonstrate that walleye pollock have the capability for responding to gradients of flow by adjusting their vertical distribution. Walleye pollock and many other pelagic fish larvae have weak swimming capabilities and are generally unable to directly control horizontal distributions in the sea by swimming in higher flow regimens. However, using vertical migration, larvae may select conditions of flow direction and speed which are favorable for feeding and predator avoidance and which indirectly allow them to control transport, aggregation and dispersion.


Last updated 30 March, 2009

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