Divergent reproductive life histories in Haida Gwaii stickleback (Gasterosteus spp.)
Author: Reimchen, T.E.
Source: Canadian Journal of Zoology, Volume 91, Number 1, December 2013 , pp. 17-24(8)
Publisher: NRC Research Press
Abstract:To assess intraspecific variability in fecundity of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L., 1758) as a test of life-history trade-offs, we quantified egg traits, morphological characters, and habitat variables in 43 allopatric and morphologically diverse populations from Haida Gwaii off the west coast of Canada. Mean mature egg size and total egg count (12 eggs per female and 8 gravid females per locality) were both positively and significantly correlated with standard length (SL) of the fish (r = 0.58 and 0.84, respectively). Egg size was ∼10% larger in freshwater localities than in similar-sized stickleback in adjacent marine localities (P < 0.02). Multiple regression and Akaike's information criterion (AIC) analyses of residual egg size against morphological and lake habitat variables yields a negative correlation with lake pH (partial r = -0.34, P < 0.05) and no association with lake size, aquatic spectra, gill raker number, defense armor, or predation regime. Relative to stickleback from continental regions, Haida Gwaii stickleback life histories appear to be K-shifted (large but few eggs) possibly because of cool temperatures, low aquatic productivity, low community diversity, predation regime, and occasional iteroparity.
Keywords: archipelago; body size; egg number; egg size; fecundity; Queen Charlotte Islands; threespine stickleback; archipel; taille du corps; nombre d'œufs; fécondité; îles de la Reine-Charlotte; épinoche à trois épines
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2013-12-13
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