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Maternal effects vary between source populations in the Atlantic tomcod Microgadus tomcod

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Green, BS and Chambers, RS (2007) Maternal effects vary between source populations in the Atlantic tomcod Microgadus tomcod. Marine Ecology progress Series, 344. 185 - 195. ISSN 0171-8630

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Abstract

Identifying the sources of variation in traits of larvae is one of the first steps in interpreting
the role of phenotypic variation in recruitment. We examined the contributions of geographic
source and parentage to phenotypic variation in offspring traits in a gadid, Microgadus tomcod, from
2 contrasting yet nearby locations. Adults were collected from the Hudson River (HR), a polluted
riverine estuary with strong freshwater and tidal fluxes, and Shinnecock Bay (SB), a relatively clean
barrier beach and lagoon system with minimal freshwater inflows. Eggs were stripped from fish in
the laboratory and incubated in a common environment. Female and offspring traits varied substantially
between populations. Females from SB had a higher ovary weight and gonado-somatic index
(GSI) relative to body length, and produced larger eggs. Contrary to expectation, higher female condition
did not result in larvae of better condition. SB offspring had smaller yolk reserves at hatch and
were less resistant to starvation than offspring from HR, though size at hatching did not differ
between the 2 populations. SB offspring took 25% longer to hatch, thereby increasing dependence
on yolk reserves as embryos. This may represent a trade-off in time to hatching versus quality at
hatching in tomcod from different environments. Geographic source accounted for more variance
than maternal effects in time to hatch (90%) and yolk volume at hatch (42%). Maternal influence
accounted for more variance in egg diameter (90%), length at hatch (33%) and starvation resistance
(30%), though none of these measures was correlated to female size or age. These results emphasize
differences in early life history traits across a small geographic scale and the extent to which offspring
differences due to maternal effects depend on the local environment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Geographic variation · Maternal effect · Offspring variation · Phenotypic variation
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology progress Series
Publisher: Inter-Research
Page Range: 185 - 195
ISSN: 0171-8630
Identification Number - DOI: 10.3354/meps06955
Additional Information:

Copyright © 2007 InterResearch

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:27
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:34
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