October 28 2015

12:00 LSB 2320

Karen Martin
Department of Biology, Pepperdine University

Beach-Spawning Fishes: Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem


Spawning on beaches by fishes is an unexpected form of reproduction that is seen in a surprising number of teleost species. This charismatic animal behavior provides a window into the ecological conditions and organismal physiology necessary for aquatic fishes and their eggs to adapt to terrestrial conditions. The importance of this critical habitat for the survival of these species highlights some of the threats and challenges for conservation and management in coastal areas. Renewed scientific interest in many beach spawning fishes over the past few decades has resulted in a rich literature that offers new insights into the biology and ecology of beach spawning fishes. New challenges await the adults and embryos during and after intertidal spawning. They are emerged from water during low tides, and may be exposed to novel avian and terrestrial predators that never hunt in deeper waters. The physiology, behavior, anatomy, and ecology of spawning fishes and their care of nests and incubating embryos are explored in depth to better understand the adaptive advantages and disadvantages. The many beach spawning species in diverse lineages of teleost fishes exhibit a wealth of adaption to the ever-changing habitats at the oceans edge. Marine fishes show a variety of ecological triggers for air-breathing and amphibious behavior, leaving the water for reproduction, parental care, feeding, or escaping harsh aquatic conditions. Cues for emergence and air breathing are different for amphibious marine fishes than for air-breathing fishes from fresh water. This seminar provides an overview of an iconic type of behavior in fishes.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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