Survival against the odds: ontogenetic changes in selective pressure mediate growth-mortality trade-offs in a marine fish

Gagliano, Monica, McCormick, Mark I., and Meekan, Mark G. (2007) Survival against the odds: ontogenetic changes in selective pressure mediate growth-mortality trade-offs in a marine fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 274 (1618). pp. 1575-1582.

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For organisms with complex life cycles, variation among individuals in traits associated with survival in one life-history stage can strongly affect the performance in subsequent stages with important repercussions on population dynamics. To identify which individual attributes are the most influential in determining patterns of survival in a cohort of reef fish, we compared the characteristics of Pomacentrus amboinensis surviving early juvenile stages on the reef with those of the cohort from which they originated. Individuals were collected at hatching, the end of the planktonic phase, and two, three, four, six and eight weeks post-settlement. Information stored in the otoliths of individual fish revealed strong carry-over effects of larval condition at hatching on juvenile survival, weeks after settlement (i.e. smaller-is-better). Among the traits examined, planktonic growth history was, by far, the most influential and long-lasting trait associated with juvenile persistence in reef habitats. However, otolith increments suggested that larval growth rate may not be maintained during early juvenile life, when selective mortality swiftly reverses its direction. These changes in selective pressure may mediate growth-mortality trade-offs between predation and starvation risks during early juvenile life. Ontogenetic changes in the shape of selectivity may be a mechanism maintaining phenotypic variation in growth rate and size within a population.

Item ID: 2806
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: carry-over effects; compensatory growth; coral reef fishes; growth-mortality hypothesis; maternal effects; phenotypic selection
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2009 01:35
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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