Variations in early life history traits of Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus in the Yangtze River Estuary

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Abstract

Resources of Japanese anchovy ( Engraulis japonicus Temminck & Schlegel, 1846) are undergoing dramatic recessions in China as the consequence of intensifying anthropogenic activities. Elucidating the influences of local-scale environmental factors on early life history traits is of great importance to design strategies conserving and restoring the declining anchovy resources. In this research, we studied hatching date and early growth of anchovy in the Yangtze River Estuary (YRE) using information obtained from otolith microstructure. Onset of hatching season and growth rates of anchovy was compared to populations in Japan and Taiwan. In YRE, the hatching date of anchovy ranged from February 26th to April 6th and mean growth rate ranged from 0.27 to 0.77 mm/d. Anchovies hatching later had higher growth rates than individuals hatching earlier before the 25th day. Among populations, hatching onsets of anchovy from the higher latitude were later than populations in the lower latitude, and growth rates of anchovy in YRE were much lower than populations in Japan and Taiwan. Variations in hatching onsets and early growth patterns of anchovy thus provide important knowledge on understanding the adaptation of anchovy in YRE and designing management strategies on conserving China’s anchovy resources.

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Liu, C., Xian, W., Liu, S., & Chen, Y. (2018). Variations in early life history traits of Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus in the Yangtze River Estuary. PeerJ, 2018(5). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4789

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