A comparative analysis of daily growth patterns was carried out for prerecruits (PR) of Engraulis ringens, collected from spring to summer (2015–2016) in northern (18º25'S–24º40'S) and southern nursery areas (32º40'S–41º00'S) off the Chilean coast. Prerecruits ranged from 2.2 to 7.3 cm TL (4.27 ± 0.88) and from 27 to 102 days (54.68 ± 15.92) of age and were hatched mainly in spring 2015. Growth traits were addressed through otolith microstructure analysis to determine the increment width profiles (IW), back-calculated growth rates (BIGR), and overall absolute growth rates (AGR), whereas the Chl–a and sea-surface temperature (SST) variations were assessed by analyzing satellite and field-based data. The IWs (5.42 ± 1.94 µm versus 1.02 ± 0.37 µm), BIGRs (1.02 ± 0.37 versus 0.72 ± 0.26 mm·day−1), and AGRs (0.93 ± 0.15 versus 0.62 ± 0.08 mm·day−1) were significantly higher in the northern than in the southern stocks. The SST ranged from 17°C to 23°C (19.42 ± 1.45) and from 12°C to 18°C (14.81 ± 1.31) and varied significantly between stocks and months, whereas the higher concentration of Chl–α (~8 mg/m3), occurred close to the shallow coastal areas irrespective of stocks. A parabolic relationship between the recent otolith growth rates (ROGR) (as a proxy of recent daily somatic growth rates) and SST recorded at the date of capture estimated a maximum ROGR of 13.4 µm·day−1 at 18°C. These results demonstrated that water temperature seemed to be an important daily growth controller for early juveniles of E. ringens in the Humboldt Current System and that the field-based growth–temperature relationship obtained will contribute to future potential bioenergetics models for this important forage species.
- Chilean coast
- daily growth