Water temperature influences both morphological and physiological development in fishes. However, the effects of water temperature on the early development of Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula and Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus are not well understood. Both gar species were collected from natural environments and spawned in a hatchery setting. After spawning, fertilized embryos were collected and transferred to the Oklahoma Fishery Research Laboratory, where the embryos (50–72 embryos/treatment) were placed into one of five water temperature treatments (15.5, 20.0, 23.8, 27.5, and 32.2°C) and observed over time to estimate the time to hatch and the time to reach the free-swimming stage. Both species showed an inverse relationship between temperature and the timing of hatch and advancement to free-swimming fingerlings for all treatments. In addition, Alligator Gar embryos did not develop at the coldest water temperature tested, and Alligator Gar juveniles held at the warmest temperature tested were observed with developmental abnormalities, potentially affecting their survival. The same temperature extremes had no comparable negative effect on Spotted Gar. The results of this study are useful for understanding early life history dynamics of these two species in their natural environments and can also be used by hatchery managers who are seeking to optimize their production protocols.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Effects of temperature on hatching rate and early development of alligator gar and spotted gar in a laboratory setting|
|Series title||North American Journal of Fisheries Management|
|Publisher||American Fisheries Society|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|