Pelagic larval duration is similar across 23 degrees of lattitude for two species of butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) in eastern Australia

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Journal Article
Coral Reefs, 2011, 30 (4), pp. 1071 - 1075
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Duration of the pelagic phase of benthic marine fishes has been related to dispersal distance, with longer pelagic larval duration (PLD) expected to result in greater dispersal potential. Here, we examine PLDs of 2 species of coral-reef butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga and C. flavirostris) across latitudes (14°S37°S) along the Great Barrier Reef into south-eastern Australia; we predict that PLD will be higher for fish collected below the breeding latitudes of 24°S. For C. auriga, apart from significantly longer PLDs at Lord Howe Island and Jervis Bay (means of 54 and 52 days, respectively), all locations had similar PLDs (mean 41 days). For C. flavirostris, there was no significant location effect on PLD (mean 41.5 days); however, PLD at Lord Howe Island was 58 days with high variance precluding significance. Also, there was no significant variation in PLD among years for either species despite considerable variation in East Australian Current strength.
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