The influence of temperature during early life on phenotypic expression at later ontogenetic stages in sea bass

TitleThe influence of temperature during early life on phenotypic expression at later ontogenetic stages in sea bass
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsGeorgakopoulou, E, Sfakianakis DG, Kouttouki S, Divanach P, Kentouri M, Koumoundouros G
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume70
Issue1
Pages278 - 291
KeywordsDicentrarchus labrax, Early life history, Meristics, Morphometrics, Phenotypic plasticity, Temperature
Abstract

To exam whether the temperature experienced by fishes at early developmental stages can influence their phenotype at subsequent stages, the model species used, European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax was subjected to water temperatures of 15 or 20°C during the half-epiboly stage until the metamorphosis. Meristic and morphometric characters at three different stages, well after the end of the thermal treatments, were explored. Body shape and most of the meristic characters were significantly affected by the environmental temperature during their early life stages. Fish body shape at 15°C tended to be more slender than at 20°C. The dorsal spines and soft rays, the pectoral lepidotrichia and caudal dermatotrichia were significantly affected. Phenotypic differences due to the two thermal regimes are discussed in terms of their functional meaning during the transition from the planktonic to the littoral niche. © 2007 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

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