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Influence of Mate Quality on Reproductive Decisions in a Fish with Paternal Care
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Animal Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5791-336X
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Female reproductive decisions have been suggested to be highly influenced by mate quality. I have studied whether offspring quality may be adjusted by females to match the attractiveness of males and how strong control females have over their reproductive investment focusing on egg size. This was done in the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), a sex-role reversed obligate paternal mouthbrooder where males invest heavily into reproduction. As this species is suitable for both laboratory experiments and field studies it is an ideal candidate for the study of reproductive investment.

Mating was size-assortative and both males and females benefited from pairing with large partners. However, male size determined the reproductive output of a pair. Females courted large males more intensively and produced larger, but not fewer eggs when mated to large males as compared to small males. Further, this matching of egg size to mate attractiveness may be fast. Female courtship behaviours contained honest information regarding both clutch weight and egg maturity, traits that may be highly important for male mate choice. Surprisingly, males played an important part in territory defence suggesting relatively equal sex-roles in this species. Also, this species showed stable group structures which may be important for the evolution of female plasticity in reproductive investment due to high variance in quality of available mates.

This thesis suggest that females have a remarkable control over their reproductive investments and that male quality may be highly influential on reproductive decisions regarding offspring quality. Furthermore, it suggest that sexual selection may have strong effects on the evolution of egg size and parental care on a whole.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2003. , p. 33
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 882
Keywords [en]
Ecology, sexual selection, differential allocation, evolution of egg size and parental care
Keywords [sv]
Ekologi
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3562ISBN: 91-554-5723-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3562DiVA, id: diva2:163266
Public defence
2003-09-26, Ekman salen, Uppsala, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2014-09-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Male size determines reproductive output in a paternal mouthbrooding fish
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Male size determines reproductive output in a paternal mouthbrooding fish
2002 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 63, no 4, p. 727-733Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Size can have strong effects on reproductive success in both males and females, and in many species large individuals are preferred as mates. To estimate the potential benefits from mate choice for size in both sexes, I studied the effects of the size of each sex on the reproductive output of pairs of Banggai cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderni, a sexually monomorphic obligate paternal mouthbrooder. When pairs were allowed to form freely, a size-assortative mating pattern was observed and larger pairs had a higher reproductive output as determined by total clutch weight and egg size. To separate the potential benefits from mate choice for size for each sex, I subsequently used these pairs to form reversed size-assortative pairs, that is, the largest male paired to the smallest female and vice versa. I found a positive correlation between male size and clutch size: relatively heavier clutches were found in pairs where females were given a larger male. This suggests that the size of the male influences clutch weight. For egg size, however, the size of both sexes seemed important. The study reveals the benefits of mutual mate choice on size in this species: larger females provide larger eggs and larger males can brood heavier clutches. Furthermore, these results suggest that females differentially allocate resources into the eggs according to the size of the mate.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90785 (URN)10.1006/anbe.2001.1959 (DOI)
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Females produce larger eggs for large males in a paternal mouthbrooding fish
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Females produce larger eggs for large males in a paternal mouthbrooding fish
2001 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 268, no 1482, p. 2229-2234Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When individuals receive different returns from their reproductive investment dependent on mate quality, they are expected to invest more when breeding with higher quality mates. A number of studies over the past decade have shown that females may alter their reproductive effort depending on the quality/attractiveness of their mate. However, to date, despite extensive work on parental investment, such a differential allocation has not been demonstrated in fish. Indeed, so far only two studies from any taxon have suggested that females alter the quality of individual offspring according to the quality/attractiveness of their mate. The banggai cardinal fish is an obligate paternal mouth brooder where females lay few large eggs. It has previously been shown that male size determines clutch weight irrespective of female size in this species. In this study, I investigated whether females perform more courtship displays towards larger males and whether females allocate their reproductive effort depending on the size of their mate by experimentally assigning females to either large or small males. I found that females displayed more towards larger males, thereby suggesting a female preference for larger males. Further, females produced heavier eggs and heavier clutches but not more eggs when paired with large males. My experiments show that females in this species adjust their offspring weight and, thus, presumably offspring quality according to the size of their mate.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90786 (URN)10.1098/rspb.2001.1792 (DOI)
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Differential investment in the Banggai cardinalfish: can females adjust egg size close to egg maturation to match the attractiveness of a new partner?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Differential investment in the Banggai cardinalfish: can females adjust egg size close to egg maturation to match the attractiveness of a new partner?
2003 (English)In: Journal of Fish Biology, ISSN 0022-1112, E-ISSN 1095-8649, Vol. 63, no S1, p. 144-151Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To test whether females can change their egg investment according to the different attractiveness ( i.e. size as measured by standard length, Ls) of a new mate after eggs have already matured in response to an earlier mate, female Banggai cardinalfish Pterapogon kauderni were first allowed to produce eggs for small (unattractive) or large (attractive) males. Then, when spawning was initiated, but prior to actual spawning, their partner was switched to either a significantly larger or a significantly smaller partner, respectively. A strong positive correlation between egg size and days until spawning with the second male was found for the females initially paired to a small and then a large male. Within a few days, these females apparently increased their egg size to match the attractiveness of their new male. No correlation between days until spawning and egg size in females initially paired to a large and then a small male, however was found, so apparently females were unable to adjust egg size in response to a decrease in mate attractiveness. Consequently, it is suggested that females can increase their egg size investment even after the onset of egg maturation and that this change can be quite rapid.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90787 (URN)10.1111/j.1095-8649.2003.00205.x (DOI)
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Female courtship in the Banggai cardinalfish: honest signals of egg maturity and reproductive output?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Female courtship in the Banggai cardinalfish: honest signals of egg maturity and reproductive output?
2004 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 56, no 1, p. 59-64Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the vast literature on male courtship behaviour, little is known about the function and information content of female courtship behaviour. Female courtship behaviour may be important in many species, particularly where both sexes invest heavily in the offspring, and if such behaviours contain honest information regarding a female’s potential reproductive investment, they may be particularly important in male mate choice. Using observations of two female courtship behaviours (the “rush” and the “twitch”) from experimental pairings in the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), I addressed the question of whether these courtship behaviours contained information on female reproductive output (clutch weight) and egg maturity (proximity to spawning), traits commonly associated with male mate choice. I especially focused on the importance of these courtship behaviours in relation to other female characters, such as size and condition, using multiple regression. I found that one of these behaviours, the rush, was strongly associated with fecundity, whereas size, condition and the twitch were not. Further, I found that the “twitch” behaviour was associated with how close to actual spawning a female was. The results suggest that female courtship behaviour may convey highly important information in a mate choice context. I discuss the adaptive value of honest information in female courtship behaviour in light of these results.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90788 (URN)10.1007/s00265-003-0754-5 (DOI)
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Sex-specific territorial behaviour in the Banggai cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderni
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sex-specific territorial behaviour in the Banggai cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderni
2004 (English)In: Environmental Biology of Fishes, ISSN 0378-1909, E-ISSN 1573-5133, Vol. 70, no 4, p. 375-379Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a field experiment, we studied how levels of aggression in males and females in established pairs of the Banggai cardinalfish were influenced by the sex of an experimentally introduced individual larger and more attractive than its resident counterpart. Contrary to previous studies on other cardinalfish species, and contrary to expectations in a sex role reversed species, the male was the main aggressor towards an intruder. Moreover, residents were more aggressive towards an intruder of the same sex as themselves. Furthermore, even though females often courted introduced, larger males, no intruder managed to take over the partnership of any resident. We suggest that our findings imply relatively equal sex roles in the Banggai cardinalfish and we discuss the evolution of sex specific territory defence and its significance in the Banggai cardinalfish as well as the implications of such behaviour in the interpretations of sex roles in general.

Keywords
territorial defence, sex, sex roles
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90789 (URN)10.1023/B:EBFI.0000035430.76766.53 (DOI)000222800800009 ()
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
6. Wild Populations of a Reef Fish Suffer from the “Nondestructive” Aquarium Trade Fishery
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Wild Populations of a Reef Fish Suffer from the “Nondestructive” Aquarium Trade Fishery
2003 (English)In: Conservation Biology, ISSN 0888-8892, E-ISSN 1523-1739, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 910-914Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The commercial fishery for coral reef fish for the aquarium trade has begun to change, at least in some parts of the world, from destructive methods such as cyanide and dynamite fishing to less-destructive methods such as hand-net fishing. However, data on the effects on wild populations of such relatively nondestructive methods is nonexistent. The Banggai cardinalfish (   Pterapogon kauderni ) is a paternal mouthbrooder living in groups of 2–200 individuals in the proximity of sea urchins (   Diadema setosum ). This fish has limited dispersal abilities because it lacks a pelagic larval phase, and it is believed to be endemic to the Banggai archipelago off the east coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Since its rediscovery in 1995, the Banggai cardinalfish has become a popular aquarium fish, and thousands have been exported—mainly to North America, Japan, and Europe. To study the effects of the aquarium trade fishery on wild populations of the Banggai cardinalfish, we performed a field study in which we quantified density, age distribution ( quantified as the ratio of numbers of juveniles to adults ) and habitat quality ( i.e., sea urchin density ) at eight sites in the Banggai archipelago. Through interviews with local fishers, we estimated the fishing pressure at each site and related this to data on fish density. We found a marginally significant negative effect of fishing pressure on density of fish and significant negative effects on group size in both sea urchins and fish. We did not find any effect of fishing on fish size structure. To our knowledge this is the first study to compare sites under different amounts of fishing pressure that has demonstrated the negative effects of the aquarium trade on wild populations of reef fish, despite the widespread use of relatively nondestructive fishing methods.

National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90790 (URN)10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.01522.x (DOI)000183077800036 ()
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
7. Do egg size and parental care coevolve in fish?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do egg size and parental care coevolve in fish?
2005 (English)In: Journal of Fish Biology, ISSN 0022-1112, E-ISSN 1095-8649, Vol. 66, no 6, p. 1499-1515Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A phenomenon that has attracted a substantial theoretical and empirical interest is the positive relationship between egg size and the extent of parental care in fishes. Interestingly, despite the effort put into solving the causality behind this relationship over the past two decades it remains largely unsolved. Moreover, how general the positive relationship between egg size and parental care is among fishes is also poorly understood. In order to stimulate research exploring egg size and parental care variation in fishes, the potential selective forces from both natural and sexual selection on egg size and parental care are discussed. Recent empirical findings on how oxygen requirements and developmental times may differ between differently sized eggs are incorporated into a critical view of the current theory of this field. Furthermore, it is suggested that the up to now neglected effects of sexual selection, through both mate choice and sexual conflict, can have strong effects on the relationship between egg size and parental care in fishes. In light of the recent developments of comparative and experimental methods, future approaches that may improve the understanding of the relationship between egg size and care in fishes are suggested.

National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90791 (URN)10.1111/j.0022-1112.2005.00777.x (DOI)
Available from: 2003-09-04 Created: 2003-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14

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