Beach-Spawning Fishes : Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem book cover
1st Edition

Beach-Spawning Fishes
Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem

ISBN 9781482207972
Published September 13, 2014 by CRC Press
223 Pages - 10 Color & 43 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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 this book.

Beach-Spawning Fishes: Reproduction in an Endangered Ecosystem is 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.

Table of Contents

A Leap of Faith: Evolution of Beach Spawning Behavior
Overview of Biogeography and Ecology of Beach-Spawning Fishes
Fish Families with Many Intertidal Species Also Have Many Species that Spawn on Beaches
Some Lineages Indicate Independent Origins of Beach-Spawning Behavior
Some Teleost Fish Species Spawn on Beaches and Other Habitats
Lineages that Include Multiple Species of Beach-Spawning Fishes 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
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 Reproduce with Pelagic Eggs
Beach Spawning Fishes Produce Demersal Eggs
Diverse 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
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 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
Some Fishes Appear to Be Making a Transition Toward Beach Spawning
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: the Dangers of Novel Predators and Other Terrestrial influences for Beach-Spawning Fishes and their Embryos
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
Whitebaiters in New Zealand Protect their Recreation
Forage Fish Initiatives Address Ecological Concerns
Summary: Local Ecological Knowledge Is Needed for Conservation

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Karen L. M. Martin, PhD, is professor of biology and Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She is a fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists, and active in the American Fisheries Society, the American Society of Ichthyologists, and Herpetologists, the Society for Integrative and Comparitive Biology, and other scientific organizations. She has published extensively on studies of animals at the interface between water and land and is associate editor of the journal Copeia. Dr. Martin's previous books are Amniote Origins Completing the Transition to Land, coedited with Stuart Sumida; and Intertidal Fishes: Life in Two Worlds, coedited with Michael Horn and Michael Chotkowski.

After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at Oklahoma University, she earned a doctorate in biology at University of California, Los Angeles, and completed a postdoctoral Friday Harbor Fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. Martin received the Environmental Partnership Award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, and the Conservation Achievement Award from the American Fisheries Society. Her award-winning short documentary, Surf, Sand, and Silversides: The California Grunion, has been screened at numerous regional and international film festivals, conferences, universities, and aquariums. She cofounded the Beach Ecology Coalition and the Grunion Greeters in order to work with multiple stakeholders on beaches to balance human recreation with wildlife conservation. Dr. Martin is an advocate for involving the public in scientific research.


"Beach-Spawning Fishes covers the wide range of questions one might immediately ask: Is this behavior convergent or limited to a certain family? Which taxa behave like this? What are the habitat requirements? These questions and more are readily answered in the first two chapters of the book. Spawning in the intertidal zone is not limited to the night-time activities of the California Grunion, but to multiple families of teleost fishes. From a general background on overall behavior and evolution of this unique life-history trend, the book then moves from overall patterns of diversification to specific cases of beach-spawning behavior.

Just as beach-spawning behavior is diverse across multiple fish families, the reproductive behaviors are highly varied as well as the preferred habitats. In this book, we see beach spawners make use of multiple reproductive strategies with an added twist of doing this all in low or receding waters.

Running the gamut from evolution, physiology, life history, and conservation, Beach-Spawning Fishes is an excellent resource for your bookshelf. Just as the many chapters of this book cover diverse questions with regard to beach spawners, the ways in which this resource can be used are diverse as well. Beach-Spawning Fishes has many possible uses for education at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional level. This book is an excellent resource for a professor wanting to bring a textbook-based, in-depth focus on unique spawning strategies in fishes, and it could certainly stand alone as a textbook for a special topics course on marine fish behavior. Beach-Spawning Fishes would be a useful supplement to a reproduction chapter in an ichthyology class or a jumping off point for discussions on diversity and convergent evolution. Anatomy and physiology courses could benefit from the real-life examples of physiological processes discussed. Other portions of this book could be summarized for ecology courses as examples of food webs, ecosystem functionality, or embryonic development. As an extra bonus, this book comes in hardcover, and is also available as an ebook, further lending it to class-based use."
—Malorie M. Hayes, Auburn University, in Copeia