jueves, 12 de febrero de 2015

Eel larvae session in the 39th Annual Larval Fish Conference

The early life history of Anguillid eels is characterized by an unusually long larval stage ranging from several months for tropical species to several years for some temperate species. For decades, these leptocephalus larvae, initially thought to be species of their own, have intrigued scientists. At present, several commercially important eel species are in a critical state. Causes of the decline are mainly linked to anthropogenic activities in freshwater and estuarine systems; however, changes in ocean productivity and climatic factors at the spawning grounds are also thought to partly underlie the collapse.

The spatial distribution and morphological characteristics of leptocephalus larvae were first documented with the development of specific plankton fishing techniques in the beginning of the 20th century. Since the 1980’s, more systematic sampling of potential spawning grounds and larval migration routes have greatly increased our knowledge on their spatial distribution, swimming and orientation capacities as well as trophic ecology. Recent advances in rearing eels in captivity have also enhanced our knowledge of larval development, growth and behavior, and this could significantly contribute to understanding the requirements of early eel life history stages in the wild.

The objective of this session is to bring together field, modeling and laboratory studies to understand the environmental and biological drivers that influence the early life history of Anguillid eels.

Organizers: Reinhold Hanel, Caroline Durif
Keynote speaker: Michael J. Miller

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