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Dr. Mark Steele's Fish Ecology Lab
Department of Biology
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8303
B.S. Marine Biology, California State University, Long Beach, 2011
Effects of lunar phase on settlement and pre-settlement traits of four temperate reef fishes.
Depending on the lunar phase, onshore transport may vary in strength and velocity, directly influencing larval supply from the pelagic environment to suitable reefs. Also, without suitable onshore transport, larvae may delay their settlement, increasing their size and age at which they settle to a reef. By examining the lunar influence on settlement rates and settler quality I hope to better evaluate the temporal and spatial variation in larval supply and quality to specific locations. Therefore, I am interested in examining the effects of lunar variation on settlement rate and settler quality of four temperate reef fishes. First, I will determine if settlement is more common during specific lunar phases and if the pattern is consistent among the four species. Second, I will test for differences in settler quality (i.e. size at settlement, pelagic larval duration [PLD], and daily growth rates) among the lunar phases, and evaluate differences among all four species. Since early life history traits are often correlated, I will also test for correlations between size at settlement and PLD and daily growth as well as between PLD and daily growth rates. This will allow me to determine if daily growth rate during the larval phase, while in the pelagic realm, influences the size and age of settlers.