Ecological and behavioural drivers of offspring size in marine teleost fishes

Karina Vanadzina, André Phillips, Bonnie Martins, Kevin N. Laland, Michael M. Webster, Catherine Sheard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract


Aim

Our aim was to evaluate the role of ecological and life-history factors in shaping global variation in offspring size in a marine clade with a diverse range of parental care behaviours.
Location

Global.
Time period

Data sourced from literature published from 1953 until 2019.
Major taxa studied

Marine teleost fishes.
Methods

We compiled a species-level dataset of egg and hatch size for 1,639 species of marine fish across 45 orders. We used Bayesian phylogenetic mixed models to evaluate the relationship between offspring size and environmental factors (i.e., mean temperature, chlorophyll-a and dissolved oxygen content together with their annual variation), as well as latitude, reproductive strategy, parental body size and fecundity. We also tested long-standing hypotheses about the co-evolution of offspring size and the presence of parental care in BayesTraits.
Results

After controlling for parental body size and phylogenetic history, we find that increased egg size is associated with colder and oxygen-rich waters, while hatch size further depends on food supply and the reproductive strategy exhibited by the species. Irrespective of the initial investment in egg size, species with parental care or demersal egg development yield larger hatchlings compared to pelagic spawners. We also demonstrate that hatch size has co-evolved with advanced forms of care in association with parental body but fail to find a relationship with other types of care.
Main conclusions

Our study shows that parental care behaviours, together with environmental context, influence the evolution of classic life-history trade-offs on a global scale. While the initial investment in eggs is driven primarily by temperature and oxygen content, hatch size also reflects the impact of care an offspring has received throughout development. In support of the ‘offspring-first’ hypothesis, we find that an increase in hatch size drives the evolution of advanced care provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2407-2419
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Volume30
Issue number12
Early online date18 Sept 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors were fortunate to benefit from the large body of work by researchers who have observed and recorded fish behaviour and reproductive traits for many decades. BM would like to thank Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse III (France) for the opportunity to participate in their Internship scheme abroad in spring 2019. The authors would also like to thank Helen Spence‐Jones for her help with setting up an efficient workflow for data collection. This study was funded by the Carnegie Trust (#RIG008238 to CS) and John Templeton Foundation (#60501 to KNL).

Funding Information:
The authors were fortunate to benefit from the large body of work by researchers who have observed and recorded fish behaviour and reproductive traits for many decades. BM would like to thank Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse III (France) for the opportunity to participate in their Internship scheme abroad in spring 2019. The authors would also like to thank Helen Spence-Jones for her help with setting up an efficient workflow for data collection. This study was funded by the Carnegie Trust (#RIG008238 to CS) and John Templeton Foundation (#60501 to KNL).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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