EPA Science Inventory

The influence of density on adults and juveniles of the estuarine fish, the sheepshead minnow (cyprinodon variegatus)

Citation:

RAIMONDO, S., H. RUTTER, C. R. JACKSON, B. L. HEMMER, AND G. M. CRIPE. The influence of density on adults and juveniles of the estuarine fish, the sheepshead minnow (cyprinodon variegatus). JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 439:69-75, (2013).

Description:

The relationship between population density and demographic rates (e.g. survival, reproduction, growth) is critical to understand population dynamics and has been widely studied in fishes. Estuarine species are regularly exposed to dramatic changes in density with daily, monthly, and seasonal tide cycles, yet knowledge on how density influences demographic rates of fish within these systems is largely lacking. We evaluated the influence of density on the sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) survival, growth, maturation, and reproduction in a series of laboratory studies. Four experiments evaluated the impact of density on demographic rates with and without food limitations and with single (adult) and mixed cohorts (juveniles and adults). The proportion of juveniles to reach sexual maturity was significantly affected by density but was not related to size, indicating that maturation is a function of both the presence and the density of adults. Fecundity was significantly less in the mid-range and high densities compared to the lowest densities tested. There was minimal mortality of both adults and juveniles across all densities, and juvenile growth was only affected at densities above 500 fish m-2. Fish collected from marsh sites using 1m2 box samplers provided estimates of the frequency of high fish density in estuarine systems. Highest field densities coincided with densities where sexual maturation and fecundity were altered by density treatments in laboratory fish. These studies provide a baseline assessment of the influence of density on previously unmeasured demographic endpoints for an estuarine species and demonstrate both density dependence and demographic plasticity.

Purpose/Objective:

Report on studies that demonstrate density dependence and tolerance for sheepshead survival, growth, maturation, and reproduction.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 01/01/2013
Completion Date: 01/01/2013
Record Last Revised: 03/19/2013
Record Created: 04/12/2012
Record Released: 04/12/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 242554

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS AND POPULATION RESPONSE BRANCH