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Title:The evolution and benefits of nest association and other reproductive strategies in North American minnows (Cyprinidae)
Author(s):Johnston, Carol Eileen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Page, Lawrence M.
Department / Program:Biology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Zoology
Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Abstract:With over 293 species, Cyprinidae (minnows) is the largest family of fishes in North America. Although a diverse group of obvious ecological importance, very little is known about the life histories of North American minnows, including reproductive behavior. In order to promote understanding of the evolution, behavior and ecology of minnows, a list of minnows for which reproductive behaviors are known was compiled. These behaviors were classified so that the evolution and adaptive advantages of the reproductive strategies could be considered by comparing them to a phylogenetic hypothesis based on morphology.
Nest association, a derivative of broadcasting, is a widespread reproductive strategy among North American minnows. Nest associates spawn in the nests of other species, leaving their offspring to be cared for by the host. The objective of my study of nest association was to determine the nature of the host/associate relationship (i.e., mutualistic, parasitic or commensalistic). I investigated the effect of nest association on the reproductive success of both hosts and associates in order to characterize the relationship.
In my study, associates were found to benefit, in terms of reproductive success, from the parental care of hosts, and not from the physical characteristics of host nests. Hosts also benefitted from the relationship. Hosts that spawned with associates had higher reproductive success than those that did not. Mechanisms responsible for the increased reproductive success of hosts include selfish herd or dilution effects, or perhaps female choice.
Since both associates and hosts benefit from nest association, the relationship can be characterized as mutualistic, at least in some systems. Since evidence from other studies suggests that the nest association does not benefit hosts, it will be necessary to study numerous systems before the nature of the strategy is fully understood.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Johnston, Carol Eileen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9314888
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9314888

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