Feb 4, 2010

Food supply influences offspring provisioning but not density-dependent fecundity in a marine fish

Jameal F Samhouri


Replenishment of many marine populations occurs through the entry of juveniles to adult populations following a pelagic larval stage. Because mortality during the pelagic stage is thought to be high and density independent, larval abundance and traits of individual larvae should have strong effects on overall population dynamics in marine organisms. Surprisingly, few experiments have tested how localized interactions among breeding adults affect the quantity and phenotypic traits of larvae they produce. Here I experimentally test for the influence of food competition, mate limitation, and population density on somatic growth, fecundity, and offspring provisioning (larval length and energy reserves) in a planktivorous, territorial coral reef damselfish, Stegastes partitus. I manipulated food supply and adult S. partitus density on isolated patch reefs in the Bahamas and also made behavioral observations of S. partitus occurring on nearby natural reefs at a range of population densities. On the experimental reefs, females experienced density-dependent growth and fecundity; male reproductive success was density dependent, but male growth was not. Density-dependent growth and reproduction were not moderated by food supplementation,...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Chromis chromis
Food Supply
Decline, Mortality
Marine Organisms
Predatory Behavior

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