Ontogeny, growth, and the recruitment process
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Early life history and recruitment in fish populations
Every individual of a population is challenged daily by circumstances that demand certain levels of performance if the organism is to survive long enough to contribute to recruitment, no matter how recruitment is defined. The challenges faced by fish larvae are especially arduous and numerous because of their relatively small size, which limits their abilities to thwart predators, starvation, and transport to detrimental environs (Miller et al., 1988; Fuiman and Magurran, 1994). Performance — behavioural, physiological or otherwise — is the key to survival and, hence, recruitment. It can be measured for any of a multitude of processes that operate from the subcellular through whole-organism levels. Natural selection acts on the entire phenotype — morphology, physiology and behaviour — to shape the performance capacities of individuals. Detailed knowledge of these performance capacities and the magnitude of their variation is essential for a full understanding of the mechanisms that ultimately determine recruitment.
Fuiman, L. A. and Higgs, Dennis M., "Ontogeny, growth, and the recruitment process" (1997). Early life history and recruitment in fish populations, 21, 225-249.