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Diel Differences in Abundance and Composition of Ichthyoplankton
Influx through Breach Inlet
Courtney Brooks*, David Wilson* and Gorka Sancho
Department of Biology, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
How does the abundance of larval fish vary in
The life cycle of various larval assemblages of fishes begins in the deeper waters of the continental shelf
Nine larval fish species were caught during
day versus night tidal floods at Breach Inlet?
where they are spawned in winter months and then carried by currents through inlets to continue
development within the shallow estuaries. These larval species will spend much of their first year in these
habitats before they emigrate in the fall (Warlen and Burke, 1990). The objective of this study was to
Nocturnal tows caught more larval fishes
determine abundance during the immigration period of late winter tides.
-Behavioral preference for nighttime influx into estuaries?
No clear correlation was found of larval influx with moon phase.
Spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) were the most
Spot (Leiostomus xanthurus ) Captured
abundant larvae caught, as expected due to
before the earliest published collection date
Number of Individuals
All Bay whiff (Citharichthys spilopterus )
caught were fully metamorphosed and had
Approximately 20 minute tows during flood
Compare more day vs. night tows made on the same dates
Extend nocturnal tows over multiple lunar cycles to detect
possible specific lunar influx periodicities
We would like to thank Dr. Bill Roumillat (SCDNR) for his help
identifying larval fish as well as the use of the plankton net. Research
done as part Biol 342 Oceanography class.
* Both undergraduate authors contributed equally to this study
500 micron plankton net
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Warlen, S.M. and J.S. Burke. 1990. Immigration of larvae of fal /winter spawning marine fishes into a North Carolina estuary. Estuaries 13, No. 4:
Dame, R.F. and D.M. Al en 1996. Between estuaries and the sea. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 200: 169-185
Keener, P. et al. Ingress of Postlarval Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis (Pisces: Serranidae), through a South Carolina Barrier Island Inlet. Bulletin of
Hildebrand, S.F. and L. Cable. 1930. Development and life history of fourteen teleostean fishes at Beaufort, North Carolina. Bull. U.S. Bur. Fish.
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