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Ventilation or nest defence – Parental care trade-offs in a fish with male care
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2006 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 60, no 6, 864-873 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brood guarding animals face many critical trade-offs. Sand goby males (Pomatoschistus minutus) build nests with larger openings during low oxygen conditions, presumably to enhance ventilation. However, this may make the nest easier for egg predators to detect and harder for guarding males to defend. Manipulating oxygen level and predator presence (a small crab) for small and large males, we found support for a parental trade-off between fanning and nest defense. An increased fanning activity resulted in less time for guarding. Small males and males in low oxygen showed a higher fanning expenditure than large males and males in high oxygen, but surprisingly, filial cannibalism did not differ between these groups. Males built larger nest openings in low than high oxygen. However, males in both high and low oxygen treatments reduced their nest opening size in the presence of a predator, again indicating an important trade-off between ventilation and nest defense.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 60, no 6, 864-873 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23057OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-23057DiVA: diva2:190010
Available from: 2006-12-06 Created: 2006-12-06 Last updated: 2014-01-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Paternal care, filial cannibalism and sexual conflict in the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Paternal care, filial cannibalism and sexual conflict in the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Natural and sexual selection and sexual conflict are forces shaping the evolution of reproductive behaviour, while constrained by factors like environment, physiology and life-history trade-offs. Parental care is costly both in terms of time and energy. In fish, filial cannibalism is a strategy for caring males to compensate for some of the energy loss. Human impact like eutrophication also alters the basics for animals living in that environment. It is fundamental to any species to adjust its behaviour to a changing environment. Studying sand goby males, I found trade-offs both regarding parental care allocations, like ventilation vs. predator defence, and investment in present vs. future reproductive success. Paternal sand gobies exposed to water with low oxygen levels increased their fanning effort but did not compensate by eating more eggs, even though an increased current parental effort should affect future reproductive success negatively. Investigating if patterns of filial cannibalism change with time of season, I found no correlation. Theory predicts that it should pay more to eat eggs early, when future mating potential is higher than late in the season. However, as early hatching fry are likely to gain higher fitness through larger size the next breeding season, this may provide an opposing selection pressure. In species with male care the only way a female can affect the level of post-spawning care is by choosing a good mate. A female preference to spawn in nests that already contain eggs of other females has been interpreted as a means to avoid filial cannibalism through a dilution effect or to decrease the costs of search time. Yet, in my study females did not avoid filial cannibalism by preferring large clutches to small ones. Oxygenation of the eggs might be a key factor, since both large and small females preferred spawning in nests with small clutches. Thus, as in most animals, trade-offs clearly govern the reproductive behaviour of sand gobies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Zoologiska institutionen, 2006. 100 p.
Keyword
female choice, filial cannibalism, Gobiidae, parental care, Pomatoschistus minutus, sand goby, sexual conflict, sexual selection
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1399 (URN)91-7155-357-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-01-19, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 14-18, Stockholm, 10:00
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Available from: 2006-12-06 Created: 2006-12-06Bibliographically approved

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