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Title

Alternative reproductive tactics and inverse size‑assortment in a high‑density fish spawning aggregation

AuthorsKarkarey, Rucha; Zambre, Amod; Isvaran, Kavita; Arthur, Rohan
KeywordsInverse size-assortment
Squaretail grouper
Spawning aggregation
High mating density
Alternative reproductive tactics
Shoal and pair courtship tactics
Issue Date2017
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationBMC Ecology 17 : 10 (2017)
AbstractBackground: At high densities, terrestrial and marine species often employ alternate reproductive tactics (ARTs) to maximize reproductive benefits. We describe ARTs in a high-density and unfished spawning aggregation of the squaretail grouper (Plectropomus areolatus) in Lakshadweep, India. Results: As previously reported for this species, territorial males engage in pair-courtship, which is associated with a pair-spawning tactic. Here, we document a previously unreported school-courtship tactic; where territorial males court multiple females in mid-water schools, which appears to culminate in a unique ‘school-spawning’ tactic. Courtship tactics were conditional on body size, local mate density and habitat, likely associated with changing trade-offs between potential mating opportunities and intra-sexual competition. Counter-intuitively, the aggregation showed a habitat-specific inverse size-assortment: large males courted small females on the reef slope while small males courted equal-sized or larger females on the shelf. These patterns remained stable across two years of observation at high, unfished densities. Conclusions: These unique density-dependent behaviours may disappear from this aggregation as overall densities decline due to increasing commercial fishing pressure, with potentially large consequences for demographics and fitness.
DescriptionEste artículo contiene 13 páginas, 3 tablas, 4 figuras.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-017-0120-5
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/146565
DOI10.1186/s12898-017-0120-5
ISSN1472-6785
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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