Mechanisms behind bottom-up effects : eutrophication increases fecundity by shortening the interspawning interval in stickleback

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Saarinen , A & Candolin , U 2020 , ' Mechanisms behind bottom-up effects : eutrophication increases fecundity by shortening the interspawning interval in stickleback ' , PeerJ , vol. 8 , 9521 . https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9521

Title: Mechanisms behind bottom-up effects : eutrophication increases fecundity by shortening the interspawning interval in stickleback
Author: Saarinen, Anne; Candolin, Ulrika
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Biosciences
Date: 2020-07-17
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: PeerJ
ISSN: 2167-8359
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/318243
Abstract: Anthropogenic eutrophication is altering aquatic environments by promoting primary production. This influences the population dynamics of consumers through bottom-up effects, but the underlying mechanisms and pathways are not always clear. To evaluate and mitigate effects of eutrophication on ecological communities, more research is needed on the underlying factors. Here we show that anthropogenic eutrophication increases population fecundity in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) by increasing the number of times females reproduce-lifetime fecundity-rather than instantaneous fecundity. When we exposed females to nutrient-enriched waters with enhanced algal growth, their interspawning interval shortened but the size of their egg clutches, or the size of their eggs, did not change. The shortening of the interspawning interval was probably caused by higher food intake, as algae growth promotes the growth of preferred prey populations. Enhanced female lifetime fecundity could increase offspring production and, hence, influence population dynamics. In support of this, earlier studies show that more offspring are emerging in habitats with denser algae growth. Thus, our results stress the importance of considering lifetime fecundity, in addition to instantaneous fecundity, when investigating the impact of human-induced eutrophication on population processes. At a broader level, our results highlight the importance of following individuals over longer time spans when evaluating the pathways and processes through which environmental changes influence individual fitness and population processes.
Subject: CLADOPHORA-GLOMERATA
DIVERSITY
ECOSYSTEMS
Egg production
Environmental change
FISH
FRESH-WATER
Foraging
GASTEROSTEUS-ACULEATUS
LONG-TERM CHANGES
NUTRIENT ENRICHMENT
Population dynamics
REPRODUCTIVE-PERFORMANCE
Reproduction
TROPHIC STATE
Trophic interactions
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1172 Environmental sciences
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