Section 22
Chapter 21,109

Growth of three species of abalones (Haliotis) in southern California

Tutschulte, TC.; Connell, JH.

Veliger 31(3-4): 204-213


ISSN/ISBN: 0042-3211
Accession: 021108724

Growth of tagged juvenile pink abalones (Haliotis corrugata) in the field and laboratory ranged from 11 to 16 mm per yr; adult annual growth ranged from 4 to 8 mm. Adults transplanted from shallow water to near their lower depth limit grew hardly at all. Juvenile green abalones (H. fulgens) tagged in the field and laboratory grew from 13 to 16 mm per yr; adult annual growth ranged from 4 to 7 mm. Transplants to depths below the normal limit did not grow. For white abalones (H. sorenseni) in the laboratory, juveniles grew 25 mm per yr, adults grew 10 mm per yr. In the field adults showed little shell growth, probably because they actively eroded their shells on the experimental tiles to which they had been transplanted. In all species smaller individuals grew faster in absolute length than did larger ones, independent of treatment. Growth rates calculated from polymodal size frequency analyses agreed closely with those from diet observations of tagged individuals. Based on these data, von Bertalanffy growth curves were constructed. Relative growth in soft-body weight decreased gradually with increasing size. All three species showed seasonal variations in growth; each species had a different season of maximum growth. During the autumn when gonad growth occurs in adult pink abalones, growth was significantly lower than in the preceding summer or the following winter. Juvenile pink abalones did not show this pattern. These results suggest that there may be a shift in energy allocation into reproduction and away from growth in this species. Adult pinks and greens would eventually reach a maximum size in about 50 yr; whites would do so in about 34 yr.

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