Optimal growth strategies under divergent predation pressure

S. Aikio, G. Herczeg, A. Kuparinen, J. Merilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The conditions leading to gigantism in nine-spined sticklebacks Pungitius pungitius were analysed by modelling fish growth with the von Bertalanffy model searching for the optimal strategy when the model's growth constant and asymptotic fish size parameters are negatively related to each other. Predator-related mortality was modelled through the increased risk of death during active foraging. The model was parameterized with empirical growth data of fish from four different populations and analysed for optimal growth strategy at different mortality levels. The growth constant and asymptotic fish size were negatively related in most populations. Optimal fish size, fitness and life span decreased with predator-induced mortality. At low mortality, the fitness of pond populations was higher than that of sea populations. The differences disappeared at intermediate mortalities, and sea populations had slightly higher fitness at extremely high mortalities. In the scenario where all populations mature at the same age, the pond populations perform better at low mortalities and the sea populations at high mortalities. It is concluded that a trade-off between growth constant and asymptotic fish size, together with different mortality rates, can explain a significant proportion of body size differentiation between populations. In the present case, it is a sufficient explanation of gigantism in pond P. pungitius.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-331
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Fingerprint

predation
mortality
fish
Pungitius pungitius
fitness
pond
predator
predators
Gasterosteidae
growth models
trade-off
body size
foraging
death
modeling
sea

Keywords

  • Body size
  • Gigantism
  • Model
  • Population
  • Pungitius

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Optimal growth strategies under divergent predation pressure. / Aikio, S.; Herczeg, G.; Kuparinen, A.; Merilä, J.

In: Journal of Fish Biology, Vol. 82, No. 1, 01.2013, p. 318-331.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Aikio, S. ; Herczeg, G. ; Kuparinen, A. ; Merilä, J. / Optimal growth strategies under divergent predation pressure. In: Journal of Fish Biology. 2013 ; Vol. 82, No. 1. pp. 318-331.
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