EGG BUOYANCY AND SURVIVAL PROBABILITIES OF BALTIC FLOUNDER (PLATICHTHYS FLESUS) : DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPAWNING AREAS AND INTER-ANNUAL VARIATION IN CONDITIONS FOR REPRODUCTION
Abstract: The reproductive success for pelagic spawning Baltic flounders is strongly linked to the hydrodynamics in the spawning areas. Egg survival is dependent upon the ability to achieve neutral buoyancy at a depth interval where temperature and oxygen concentrations are favourable for egg development. The main focus of this thesis was to compare egg survival probabilities of pelagic eggs from Baltic flounder in the Bornholm, Gdansk and Gotland basins, prior to and after the saline water inflow in December 2014. The results showed greatly enhanced survival probabilities in Bornholm basin 2015 (p<0.01), as egg survival increased from 47% in 2014 to 100% the following year. In Gdansk basin the situation was similar, and survival probability increased from 13% to 100% (p<0.01). In Gotland basin no difference in survival probability was identified, although the dominant cause of mortality shifted from sedimentation, i.e. due to low salinity conditions in 2014, to oxygen deficiency in 2015 (p<0,01).
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