Maternal condition influences phenotypic selection on offspring

Gagliano, Monica, and McCormick, Mark I. (2007) Maternal condition influences phenotypic selection on offspring. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76 (1). pp. 174-182.

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1. Environmentally induced maternal effects are known to affect offspring phenotype, and as a result, the dynamics and evolution of populations across a wide range of taxa.

2. In a field experiment, we manipulated maternal condition by altering food availability, a key factor influencing maternal energy allocation to offspring. We then examined how maternal condition at the time of gametogenesis affects the relationships among early life-history traits and survivorship during early development of the coral reef fish Pomacentrus amboinensis.

3. Maternal condition did not affect the number of embryos that hatched or the number of hatchlings surviving to a set time.

4. We found no significant difference in egg size in relation to the maternal physiological state. However, eggs spawned by supplemented mothers were provisioned with greater energy reserves (yolk-sac and oil globule size) than nonsupplemented counterparts, suggesting that provision of energy reserves rather than egg size more closely reflected the maternal environment.

5. Among offspring originating from supplemented mothers, those with larger yolk-sacs were more likely to successfully hatch and survive for longer periods after hatching. However, among offspring from nonsupplemented mothers, yolk-sac size was either inconsequential to survival or offspring with smaller yolk-sac sizes were favoured. Mothers appear to influence the physiological capacity of their progeny and in turn the efficiency of individual offspring to utilize endogenous reserves.

6. In summary, our results show that the maternal environment influences the relationship between offspring characteristics and survival and suggest that energy-driven selective mechanisms may operate to determine progeny viability.

Item ID: 2346
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2656
Keywords: bet-hedging; coral reef fish; maternal effects; parent-offspring conflict; selective mortality
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2009 04:03
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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