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Early Life History of Spiny Lobster

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Spiny (rock) lobsters are the basis of important fisheries in all of the world's major oceans. We synthesize current information on their early life history from a variety of biological disciplines and draw conclusions about the significance of this phase in the ecology of the group. Larval behaviour is still poorly understood and the scale of larval dispersal conjectural. However, recruitment processes in some shallow-water species, including effects of the environment on these processes, are becoming clearer. Field and laboratory studies have increased our understanding of phyllosoma larval development and behaviour. Our knowledge of the puerulus stage has increased dramatically, particularly concerning behaviour from studies using collectors to measure settlement and through laboratory experiment. Discovery of the habitat of young juveniles has led to examination of relationships between puerulus abundance at sea, levels of puerulus settlement, and the abundance of juveniles and recruits.

Affiliations: 1: MAF Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Wellington, New Zealand; 2: Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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