The effect of spawning salinity on eggs of spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus, Cuvier) from two bays with historically different salinity regimes

2002 Jun 24
Kucera CJ
Faulk CK
Holt GJ
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Spotted seatrout are capable of spawning in a wide range of salinities. Along the Texas Gulf Coast, bay salinities increase from an average of 14 ppt in Galveston Bay to an average of 40 ppt in Lower Laguna Madre due to the negative gradient of freshwater inflow from north to south. Tagging studies have shown that the majority of spotted seatrout do not migrate between adjacent bay systems. Spawning salinity has been shown to affect many properties of eggs including the diameter and salinity of neutral buoyancy. Spotted seatrout from two historically different salinity regimes (Matagorda Bay (MB) and Upper Laguna Madre (ULM)) were kept in the laboratory and induced to spawn in three salinities: 20, 30, and 40 ppt, The purpose of this study was to evaluate eggs at each of the three salinities and between the two bay systems. Two-way ANOVA showed a significant effect on the egg diameter of bay and spawning salinity, and a significant interaction between bays and spawning salinity. No significant difference in size at hatch was found between spawning salinities or between bays. Hatch rates in spawning salinity were > 90% in all cases. Regression of wet weight on spawning salinity was highly significant for both bays. Eggs spawned in 20 ppt have the largest wet weight and eggs spawned in 40 ppt have the smallest wet weight, irrespective of parental bay origin. Percentage of water varied between 92% for 20 ppt spawned eggs and 86% in 40 ppt spawned eggs. Neutral Buoyancy Salinity (NBS) of eggs increased with increasing spawning salinity. Eggs spawned by the Upper Laguna Madre fish held at 20 ppt were not positively buoyant at 20 ppt. The results of this study suggest that spotted seatrout are locally adapted to the prevailing salinity regime within an estuary. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved

Cynoscion nebulosus, egg diameter, Laguna Madre, neutral buoyancy, wet weight, COD GADUS-MORHUA, red drum, BUOYANCY, SEA, LARVAE, WATER, TEXAS