Journal article

Moonlight enhances growth in larval fish

Jeffrey S Shima, Stephen E Swearer

ECOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2019


Moonlight mediates trophic interactions and shapes the evolution of life-history strategies for nocturnal organisms. Reproductive cycles and important life-history transitions for many marine organisms coincide with moon phases, but few studies consider the effects of moonlight on pelagic larvae at sea. We evaluated effects of moonlight on growth of pelagic larvae of a temperate reef fish using "master chronologies" of larval growth constructed from age-independent daily increment widths recorded in otoliths of 321 individuals. We found that daily growth rates of fish larvae were enhanced by lunar illumination after controlling for the positive influence of temperature and the negative influ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

Field and laboratory assistance provided by V. Hernaman, C. McDermott, M. Forsyth, S. Geange, B. Dudley, L. Liggins, J. Allen, R. Williamson, J. Long, D., McNaughtan, and J. Ford. Funding provided by two Marsden grants from the Royal Society of New Zealand (2003-2004, to J. S. Shima and S. E. Swearer; and 2016-2020 to J. S. Shima, S. E. Swearer, E. Noonburg, S. Alonzo, and C. Osenberg). J. S. Shima and S. E. Swearer conceived the ideas, designed the research, and collected the empirical data. J. S. Shima analysed the data authored the paper with input from S. E. Swearer, Su Sponaugle, Mark Hixon, and Lorenzo Ciannelli provided helpful comments on versions of this manuscript.