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Size-independent age effects on reproductive effort in a small, short-lived fish

1. Age-related changes in reproductive effort have been predicted by theoretical models and observed in a wide range of organisms. However, for indeterminate growers such as fish, an allometric relationship linking gonad weight to body size is commonly observed. There is often a positive linear relationship when these variables are log-transformed, which by implication reduces the influence of age on reproductive effort. 2. Contrasting with this usual pattern, we report a nonlinear relationship between gonad weight and fish size (after log-transformation) in mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), clearly resulting from age changes. The declining rate of increase of gonad mass as a function of body size revealed a higher reproductive effort for younger individuals relative to size. 3. This size-independent age effect on reproductive effort was predicted based on previous studies of mosquitofish and is certainly related to their particular life-history strategy, combining an early maturation and short lifespan with the physiological costs of reproduction and over-wintering. Our findings probably apply to other small, short-lived species with similar life history

Financial support was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education (REN200300477 and CGL2006-11652-C02-01 ⁄BOS) and the Government of Catalonia (Catalan Government Distinction Award for University research 2004 to E. García-Berthou)

Wiley

Manager: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (Espanya)
Author: Tedesco, Pablo A.
Benito, Josep
García-Berthou, Emili
Abstract: 1. Age-related changes in reproductive effort have been predicted by theoretical models and observed in a wide range of organisms. However, for indeterminate growers such as fish, an allometric relationship linking gonad weight to body size is commonly observed. There is often a positive linear relationship when these variables are log-transformed, which by implication reduces the influence of age on reproductive effort. 2. Contrasting with this usual pattern, we report a nonlinear relationship between gonad weight and fish size (after log-transformation) in mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), clearly resulting from age changes. The declining rate of increase of gonad mass as a function of body size revealed a higher reproductive effort for younger individuals relative to size. 3. This size-independent age effect on reproductive effort was predicted based on previous studies of mosquitofish and is certainly related to their particular life-history strategy, combining an early maturation and short lifespan with the physiological costs of reproduction and over-wintering. Our findings probably apply to other small, short-lived species with similar life history
Financial support was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education (REN200300477 and CGL2006-11652-C02-01 ⁄BOS) and the Government of Catalonia (Catalan Government Distinction Award for University research 2004 to E. García-Berthou)
Format: application/pdf
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/12418
Language: eng
Publisher: Wiley
Collection: info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2007.01942.x
info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/issn/0046-5070
info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/eissn/1365-2427
MICYT/PN 2003-2006/REN2003-00477
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/MEC//CGL2006-11652-C02-01/ES/EXITO INVASOR DE LA GAMBUSIA (GAMBUSIA HOLBROOKI): PLASTICIDAD ECOLOGICA/
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Gambusia holbrooki -- Reproducció
Eastern mosquitofish -- Reproduction
Peixos d’aigua dolça -- Reproducció
Freshwater fishes -- Reproduction
Title: Size-independent age effects on reproductive effort in a small, short-lived fish
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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