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Fisheries Behavioral Ecology - Abstracts

Davis, M.W. and B.L. Olla. 1994. Ontogenetic shift in geotaxis for walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma free embryos and larvae: potential role in controlling vertical distribution. Environmental Biology of Fishes 39:313-318.


The behavioral capability of walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma free embryos and larvae to control vertical distribution was assessed by examining buoyancy during resting and swimming orientation and activity as they developed in complete darkness from hatching to first feeding readiness (1 to 7 d post hatching at 6° C). Free embryos exhibited positive geotaxis 1 d post hatching, actively swimming through a density gradient to remain in the lower water column. Activity increased with free embryo development and by 7 d post hatching, feeding-ready larvae reversed their vertical orientation, now exhibiting negative geotaxis as they migrated to the upper water column. The results indicate that even at the earliest developmental stages, walleye pollock possess the capability to control vertical distribution. Laboratory results are compared with patterns of vertical distribution observed in the sea.


Last updated 30 March, 2009

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