Rock lobster species are found worldwide and have a life history that includes development through aplanktonic phyllosoma followed by a nektonic non-feeding puerulus that relies on stored energy during recruitmentinto near-shore habitats. Recruitment to adult populations of western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus) is highly variableand is likely to be strongly influenced by shelf width and oceanic conditions affecting cross-shelf transport and nutrition.Since the nutritional status of newly settled pueruli will reflect the phyllosoma feeding environment and distance swum, westudied levels of lipid, fatty acid (FA) and protein of 422 pueruli and 79 first instar juveniles from fourWestern Australianlocations. Lipid levels generally were inversely related to shelf width but were variable, suggesting pueruli may travelcomplex trajectories to coastal settlement. Lipid and FA composition of pueruli were consistent with spatial and seasonalvariation in Leeuwin Current and coastal productivity regimes. Seasonal differences in FA composition occurred regardlessof the year of settlement. Pueruli had lower lipid levels during ENSO years, when recruitment tends to be lower also.Measures of puerulus nutritional status appear to provide valuable insights into the processes underpinning recruitmentin Panulirus cygnus and other commercially and ecologically important species.
|Journal||Marine and Freshwater Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|