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Title:Life history trade-offs in a parental care-providing fish: the role of reproductive value, predation threat, and physiological condition on brood abandonment decisions by paternal largemouth bass
Author(s):Zuckerman, Zachary
Advisor(s):Suski, Cory D.
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Parental care
oxidative stress
nutritional condition
offspring abandonment
reproductive success
brood loss
brood depredation
Largemouth bass
Micropterus salmoides
Abstract:Parental care evolved as a means to maximize reproductive success at a cost to physiological and nutritional condition of the care-providing individual, and at a cost to future reproductive potential. Parental investment decisions are rooted in tradeoffs between these factors, and when the cost of care-provision is outweighed by potential future reproductive potential, a parent may forfeit current investment in an effort to maximize future reproductive success. Few studies have approached parental care decisions using offspring abandonment as a direct and ultimate fitness affect, and fewer yet have adopted a holistic approach to test how physiological and environmental conditions compare in influencing the decision by a parent to abandon their brood. I performed two separate, yet complementary, studies to test for the effects of several factors on brood abandonment decisions in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides); a model parental care-providing species. First, I tested whether mating success and simulated brood depredation affect the decision by paternal largemouth bass to abandon a brood. Second, I used a multivariate approach to jointly test for the influence of nutritional condition, hormonal stress, androgen concentration, and oxidative stress of brood-guarding paternal largemouth bass, and the threat of brood depredation (i.e., brood predator density), on brood abandonment decisions. Together, my results suggested a threshold for brood loss at which paternal largemouth bass were more likely to abandon what remains of a depredated brood, and that a high threat of depredation and reduced androgen concentration also influenced the decision by paternal bass to abandon care. My findings have implications for science-based management of a highly sought-after sportfish, as well as offer a novel approach for testing the inter-related effects of various abiotic and biotic factors on parental care decisions across taxa.
Issue Date:2012-06-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Zachary Zuckerman
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-06-28
Date Deposited:2012-05

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