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Salinity Tolerance of Yellow Perch Eggs and Larvae from Coastal Plain Stream Populations in Maryland, with Comparison to a Pennsylvania Lake Population
Christopher J. Victoria, Bonnie S. Wilkerson, Ronald J. Klauda and Elgin S. Perry
Vol. 1992, No. 3 (Aug. 18, 1992), pp. 859-865
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1446163
Page Count: 7
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We measured the salinity tolerance of eggs and larvae of yellow perch, Perca flavescens, from three Coastal Plain stream populations in Maryland and a Pennsylvania lake population during a series of continuous flow-through laboratory experiments. Fertilized eggs were incubated in freshwater (mean total hardness of 39.8 mg/liter as CaCO3) and three salinities (7-12‰ or parts per thousand) until hatching (15-17 days) or death. Yolk-sac larvae were exposed to freshwater and nine salinities (2-13‰) for test periods of 5-8 days. The exposures were ramped; salinities were increased from freshwater to treatment conditions at an average rate of 2.7‰/h. Mean cumulative mortalities for Maryland eggs were 4.0% (freshwater), 16.7% (7‰), 28.5% (9‰) and 100% (12‰). The LT50 value for eggs exposed to 12‰ salinity was 139 h. Mean cumulative mortalities for Maryland larvae was 21.3% (freshwater), 0.0% (2‰), 2.0% (4 and 6‰), 4.0% (7‰), 0.0% (8 and 9‰), and 100% (12 and 13‰). Mean LT50 values for larvae exposed to the 12 and 13‰ salinity treatments were 73 and 50 h. Abnormal behavior was observed in groups of larvae exposed to salinities of 8-13‰. Larvae from the Pennsylvania lake population exhibited cumulative mortalities of 18.0% (fresh-water, 4 and 6‰) and 100% (8 and 10‰). LT50 values were 158 and 71 h for the Pennsylvania larvae exposed to the 8 and 10‰ salinity treatments. Abnormal behavior was observed in groups of Pennsylvania larvae exposed to salinities of 6-10‰. Pennsylvania larvae were slightly more sensitive to salinity changes than Maryland larvae; LC50 values were 6.3 and 9.1‰, respectively. Our laboratory results suggest that yellow perch populations in Maryland Coastal Plain streams can tolerate a relatively wide range of salinities during the egg and early larval stages at mean temperatures of 10-13 C. These populations should be capable of successful reproduction in habitats that range from 0 to 6 or 7‰ salinity.