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Persistent parental effects on the survival and size, but not burst swimming performance of juvenile sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka

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Sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka were used as a model in an artificial fertilization experiment to investigate the relationships between individual adult O. nerka and their offspring. Survival, size and burst swimming ability were assessed in fry of known parentage (adult spawners from the Weaver Creek population, British Columbia, Canada). Maternal identity significantly affected the survival rate of eggs at hatch time, though this effect did not extend to fry life stages. The results were also suggestive of a paternal effect on both egg and fry survival, though this could not be separated from the experimental block design. After 4 months of exogenous feeding, fry mass remained under significant maternal influence, though fork length did not, despite having a high correlation with mass. Burst swimming performance was highly variable among individuals, and was not significantly influenced by maternal identity or individual fry size. Collectively, the findings presented here suggest that maternal, and possibly paternal, effects can be integral components of population dynamics in the early life stages of O. nerka. A good understanding of these factors will be essential for scientists and fisheries managers in developing a more holistic view of population-level spawning success and fry survival.
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Keywords: burst swimming; heritability; intergenerational; maternal effects; paternal effects; sockeye salmon

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Quebec Chapter, 4871 Parc Ave., Montreal, Quebec, H2V 4E7, Canada, 2: Centre for Applied Conservation Research, Department of Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada 3: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Science Branch, Pacific Region, Cooperative Resource Management Institute, School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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