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Beach-Spawning Fishes: Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem

Explores the vertebrate transition to land
Examines unusual reproductive behavior
Provides examples of beach spawning, which are found globally
Discusses hatching of aquatic forms that yield terrestrial embryos

By: Karen LM Martin (Author)

203 pages, 4 plates with colour photos; 53 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, tables

CRC Press

Hardback | Sep 2014 | #212155 | ISBN-13: 9781482207972
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £63.99 $79/€72 approx

About this book

Beach-spawning fishes from exotic locations on most continents of the world provide spectacular examples of extreme adaptations during the most vulnerable life cycle stages. The beauty, intriguing biology, and importance of these charismatic fishes at the interface of marine and terrestrial ecosystems have inspired numerous scientific studies. Adaptations of behavior, physiology, development, and ecology are gathered together for the first time in Beach-Spawning Fishes: Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem.

Beach-Spawning Fishes: Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem serves as a comprehensive guide to beach spawning, a charismatic animal behavior that is seen in a surprising number of teleost species. This unexpected form of reproduction provides a window into the ecology of coastal areas, the behaviors and physiology necessary for fishes and their eggs to adapt to terrestrial conditions, and the threats and challenges for conservation and management. Beach-spawning species include important forage fishes such as the capelin, exotic fishes such as the fugu puffer, and the spectacular midnight runs of the California grunion.


A Leap of Faith: Evolution of Beach Spawning Behavior
Some fish families contain several intertidal and subtidal species that spawn on beaches
Fish families indicate multiple independent origins of beach spawning behavior
Some teleost fish species spawn on beaches and also elsewhere
Lineages that include multiple species of fishes that spawn on beaches appear to show multiple independent origins of this behavior
The leap of faith, plastic behavior and evolution

Surf, Sand, and Beach: Physical Conditions of Shore Habitats for Fishes
Tidal ebb and flow alter habitat conditions rapidly and predictably on beaches
Some fish species are resident in the intertidal zones during all parts of the tidal cycle; others visit only at high tide
Section 2.3 Beach spawning usually occurs during high tides for fishes
Beach spawning behavior in fishes may not involve air-breathing
Beach spawning occurs on specific substrates
Few species of freshwater fishes spawn at the water’s edge
Air, fresh water and sea water have very different properties as respiratory media
Beach spawning fishes are global in distribution

Locals Only: Beach Spawning Behavior in Resident Intertidal Fishes
Many teleosts reproduced with pelagic eggs
Beach spawning fishes produce demersal eggs
Many different mating behaviors and mating systems are seen in beach spawning fishes that are intertidal residents
Fishes that reside in the rocky intertidal zone spawn on the rocky beach
Section 3.5 Fishes in estuaries spawn on beaches at the water’s edge or on intertidal mudflats
Summary of beach spawning by resident intertidal fishes

Vacation Sex: Subtidal fishes that make spawning migrations to the beach
Some species migrate spawn into the rocky intertidal zone to spawn
Some species migrate onto gravel beaches to spawn
Some fishes migrate onto sandy beaches to spawn
Some fishes spawn on intertidal or nearshore vegetation
Some beach spawning fishes are anadromous or catadromous
Section 4.5 Some fishes appear to be making a transition toward beach spawning
Section 4.6 Summary for fishes that migrate from other habitats to spawn on beaches

Catching a Breath: Beach Spawning Fishes and Air-Breathing
How are emergence and air-breathing beneficial for beach spawning fishes?
Intertidal fishes show gradients of amphibious behavior and air-breathing
Respiratory structures for amphibious fishes are similar for water and air
Respiratory structures undergo modification as conditions change
Metabolic rate in air during emergence is similar to metabolic rate in water for many amphibious fishes
Terrestrial activity increases the rate of aerial gas exchange for amphibious fishes
Many amphibious fishes show hypoxia tolerance
Estuarine fishes that spawn on beaches may breathe air whether or not they emerge
Fishes that migrate into the intertidal zone and emerge during beach spawning do not breathe air
The gas bladder has non-respiratory functions in beach spawning fishes
Air emergence has physiological consequences for fishes
Summary and consequences: Adults have greater physiological tolerance to hypoxia than embryos; embryos are better suited for air exposure

Unsafe Sex: Predation on Beach Spawning Fishes
Marine and avian predators attack beach spawning fishes in the ocean
Marine and terrestrial predators attack during beach spawning runs
Predation occurs on incubating eggs and embryos on beaches
Egg predation occurs by cannibalism during spawning and incubation on the beach
Predation may occur in the nest on guarding parents and embryos
Human fisheries target some beach spawning fishes
Parasites attack beach spawning fishes from within

Beach Babes: Terrestrial Incubation and Beach Spawning Fishes
Demersal eggs are well suited for beach spawning
The chorion surrounds and protects the embryo
Oviposition height is species-specific and mediates between opposing risks of aquatic hypoxia and aerial desiccation.
Embryos on beaches may incubate for long periods of time
Some beach spawning fishes have environmental sex determination
Embryos develop terrestrially to hatching competence
Some species wait for an environmental cue to hatch

Perilous Return to the Sea: Hatching after Beach Incubation
Incubation on beaches exposes fish embryos to the danger of hatching on land
Hatchlings must navigate the perilous return to the sea
Hatching competence requires the appropriate stage of development
Hatching is a two-stage process involving chemical and mechanical steps
Hatching may be initiated or synchronized by environmental cues
The mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus hatches in response to a chemical cue, aquatic hypoxia
The California grunion Leuresthes tenuis hatches in response to a mechanical cue, agitation in seawater
The mudskipper Periophthalmus modestus hatches in response to parental intervention and aquatic hypoxia
Extended incubation may arrest development but differs from metabolic arrest during diapause
Summary of the challenges and mechanisms for hatching on beaches

Coastal Squeeze: New Threats to Beach Spawning Fishes and their Critical Habitats
Coastal construction and shoreline armoring alter beaches
Pollution of water and land can harm fishes at all life stages
Some beach spawning fishes are caught by commercial or recreational fishing
Maintenance activities and management actions can affect spawning sites on recreational beaches
Industrial activities near beaches can impact fishes
Climate change and sea level rise may cause loss of beach habitat
Summary of new threats to beach spawning fishes

Waves of Passion: Conservation Efforts for Beach Spawning Fishes
California greets the grunion
Beach spawning fishes have friends on the shoreline in Washington State
Canadians care about capelin
Kusafugu are cultural treasures in Japan
Celebrations of beach spawning fishes in Sausalito, California
Section 10.6 Summary: Local ecological knowledge is needed for conservation

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