Ecological variation along the salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea Area and its consequences for reproduction in the common goby

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/239093

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Mück , I & Heubel , K U 2018 , ' Ecological variation along the salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea Area and its consequences for reproduction in the common goby ' , Current zoology , vol. 64 , no. 2 , pp. 259-270 . https://doi.org/10.1093/cz/zoy006

Title: Ecological variation along the salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea Area and its consequences for reproduction in the common goby
Author: Mück, Isabel; Heubel, Katja U.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Tvärminne Zoological Station
Date: 2018-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Current zoology
ISSN: 1674-5507
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/239093
Abstract: Although it has become clear that sexual selection may shape mating systems and drive speciation, the potential constraints of environmental factors on processes and outcomes of sexual selection are largely unexplored. Here, we investigate the geographic variation of such environmental factors, more precisely the quality and quantity of nest resources (bivalve shells) along a salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea Area (Baltic Sea, Sounds and Belts, and Kattegat). We further test whether we find any salinity-associated morphological differences in body size between populations of common gobies Pomatoschistus microps, a small marine fish with a resource-based mating system. In a geographically expansive field study, we sampled 5 populations of P. microps occurring along the salinity gradient (decreasing from West to East) in the Baltic Sea Area over 3 consecutive years. Nest resource quantity and quality decreased from West to East, and a correlation between mussel size and male body size was detected. Population density, sex ratios, mating- and reproductive success as well as brood characteristics also differed between populations but with a less clear relation to salinity. With this field study we shed light on geographic variation of distinct environmental parameters possibly acting on population differentiation. We provide insights on relevant ecological variation, and draw attention to its importance in the framework of context-dependent plasticity of sexual selection.
Subject: aquatic ecology
body size
environmental gradient
nest availability
nesting resources
sexual selection
ASSORTATIVE NEST CHOICE
MALE-MALE COMPETITION
SEXUAL SELECTION
BODY-SIZE
GEOGRAPHIC-VARIATION
THREESPINE STICKLEBACK
FILIAL CANNIBALISM
MATING SYSTEMS
SAND GOBY
POMATOSCHISTUS-MINUTUS
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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