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Melanie Shapiera

Population Connectivity: Dispersal of Juvenile Cod

Melanie Shapiera
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Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, I come from a freshwater ecology background. My undergraduate Honour’s thesis at Queen’s University was supervised by Dr. John Smol and had two chapters: 1. Calculating calcium content of littoral zooplankton (see Shapiera et al. 2011. Calcium content of littoral Cladocera in three softwater lakes of the Canadian Shield. Hydrobiologia, DOI: 10.1007/s10750-011-0824-z 2. Examining changes in zooplankton community structure over time with respect to changing calcium levels using paleolimnological methods. (in review)

Paul Snelgrove and Robert Gregory

Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland

May 2011- May 2013

Population Connectivity, PC-03: Dispersal in Juvenile Cod

 Age 1 cod (Gadus morhua, Gadus ogac) represent a transition phase between the highly vulnerable age 0 stage and the more stable age 2-3 stage. It is possible that this stage in Gadus spp. life history is unique, with variation in behaviour and dispersal potential. This study aims to examine these behaviours over the course of a year, using acoustic telemetry. With such different dispersal strategies (and subsequent life histories), why do these two Gadid species appear to be morphologically and ecologically similar at the juvenile stage? Are they behaviourally similar, or are there behaviour characteristics that set them apart? Do they have similar dispersal patterns and/or site fidelity?


    1. Examine individual fish behaviours and quantify seasonal ranges.
    2. Experimentally test the dispersal potential and site fidelity of the two species, using a reciprocal transplant in Terra Nova Provincial Park, Newfoundland.

This CHONe project will provide a contrast to the invertebrate studies on connectivity, as well as studies on environment and habitat effects on connectivity in larval fishes. Knowledge of homing abilities, dispersal patterns, and habitat associations of the juvenile stage are crucial for both stock management and designing marine protected areas. 








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