University Of Tasmania
94186 - OA.pdf (811.92 kB)
Download file

Do human activities influence survival and orientation abilities of larval fishes in the ocean?

Download (811.92 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 02:59 authored by Siebeck, UE, O'Connor, J, Braun, C, Jeffrey LeisJeffrey Leis
The larval stages of most marine fishes spend days to weeks in the pelagic environment, where they must find food and avoid predators in order to survive. Some fish only spend part of their life history in the pelagic environment before returning to their adult habitat, for example, a coral reef. The sensory systems of larval fish develop rapidly during the first few days of their lives, and here we concentrate on the various sensory cues the fish have available to them for survival in the pelagic environment. We focus on the larvae of reef fishes because most is known about them. We also review the major threats caused by human activities that have been identified to have world-wide impact and evaluate how these threats may impact larval-fish survival and orientation abilities. Many human activities negatively affect larval-fish sensory systems or the cues the fish need to detect. Ultimately, this could lead to decreased numbers of larvae surviving to settlement, and, therefore, to decreased abundance of adult fishes. Although we focus on species wherein the larvae and adults occupy different habitats (pelagic and demersal, respectively), it is important to acknowledge that the potential anthropogenic effects we identify may also apply to larvae of species like tuna and herring, where both larvae and adults are pelagic.


Publication title

Integrative Zoology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2014 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Siebeck UE, O'Connor J, Braun C, Leis JM (2015). Do human activities influence survival and orientation abilities of larval fishes in the ocean? Integrative Zoology 10, 65–82., which has been published in final form at:

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine biodiversity