Quantitative relationships between postlarval production and benthic recruitment in lobsters, Homarus americanus

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Relationships between lobster postlarval supply and benthic recruitment were evaluated within and between oceanographically distinct segments of the range of the American lobster. Postlarvae (PL) were sampled by neuston nets in western Rhode Island Sound and the western Gulf of Maine, USA, from June to September 1989-95. Benthic lobsters were sampled in sublittoral cobble habitat by using a diver-operated airlift at the end of the settlement season. Average annual recruitment densities of young-of-year (YOY) lobsters ranged from 0.3 to 1.7 m-2. YOY recruitment was positively correlated between areas. Integrated seasonal abundance of postlarvae was often much greater in Rhode Island than Maine, but production estimates (PL 1000 m-2 season-1), calculated from moult cycle stages and temperature-dependent growth rates, differed by a factor of <0.5. PL production was positively correlated between areas and explained ≤81% of the annual variation in recruitment in each area and 90% for the two areas combined. In Maine, among-site differences in YOY recruitment persisted for a year after settlement and then began to lessen, at least in part because larger individuals moved into areas of initially lower recruitment.

Publication Title

Marine and Freshwater Research