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Comparative energy allocation in two sympatric, closely related gobies: the black goby Gobius niger and the grass goby Zosterisessor ophiocephalus

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Seasonal energy allocation of lipid reserves into different body tissues was analysed comparatively in two sympatric, closely related gobies: the grass goby Zosterisessor ophiocephalus and the black goby Gobius niger. Lipid reserves were measured in liver, muscle and ovary and compared between the two species within a given sex and seasonal period (reproductive v. non-reproductive). Furthermore, temporal patterns of lipid reserves were investigated in the two species in relation to gonado-somatic and liver-somatic indices, as well as the relationship between size and lipid content. Results showed that the grass goby allocated more lipid reserves in reproduction while the black goby accumulated more reserves in liver and muscle, at a given size, although the temporal patterns of lipid accumulation and depletion were basically similar. Results are discussed in the light of life-history theories, taking into account both adaptation and evolutionary constraints.

Keywords: energy allocation; gonado-somatic index; lipid content; liver-somatic index; sympatric gobies

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01319.x

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Castello 2737/b, Campo della Celestia, 30122, Venezia, Italy

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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