Spatial variation in growth, maturation schedules and reproductive investment of female sole Solea solea in the Northeast Atlantic

Type Article
Date 2013-11
Language English
Author(s) Mollet Fabian M.1, 2, Engelhard Georg3, Vainikka Anssi4, Laugen Ane5, Rijnsdorp Adriaan D.1, 6, Ernande BrunoORCID7, 8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Wageningen Inst Marine Resources & Ecosyst Studie, NL-1970 AB Ijmuiden, Netherlands.
2 : Int Inst Appl Syst Anal, Evolut & Ecol Program, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria.
3 : Cefas, Lowestoft NR33 0HT, Suffolk, England.
4 : Swedish Board Fisheries, Inst Coastal Res, Oregrund, Sweden.
5 : Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Ecol, S-75007 Uppsala, Sweden.
6 : Wageningen Univ, Aquaculture & Fisheries Grp, NL-6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands.
7 : IFREMER, HMMN, Lab Ressources Halieut, F-62200 Boulogne Sur Mer, France.
8 : Univ Lille Nord France, F-59000 Lille, France.
Source Journal Of Sea Research (1385-1101) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2013-11 , Vol. 84 , P. 109-121
DOI 10.1016/j.seares.2012.12.005
WOS© Times Cited 23
Keyword(s) Countergradient variation, Phenotypic plasticity, Growth, Maturation reaction norm, Temperature, Mortality-induced evolution
Abstract Latitudinal variation in life-history traits is often explained by phenotypically plastic responses or local adaptations to different thermal regimes. We compared growth, maturation schedules and reproductive investment of female sole Solea solea between 8 populations, covering much of the species' distribution in northern Europe, with respect to thermal gradients. An energy allocation model was fitted to size–age data, and probabilistic maturation reaction norms were estimated from size–age–maturity data. We found that northern populations from colder environments had higher rates of energy acquisition and reproductive investment, an intrinsic tendency to mature earlier, and had smaller asymptotic sizes than southern populations from warmer environments. Consequently, growth rate was higher before maturation but lower after maturation in the north compared to the south. This is opposite to Bergmann's rule according to which slower growth, delayed maturation and larger asymptotic sizes are usually observed at lower temperatures. The observed patterns could indicate strong countergradient thermal adaptation for rapid growth and development aswell as sustained fecundity in the north, or indicate a response to other selection pressures correlated with the thermal gradient. Potentially higher mortality in northern populations during cold winters might be one of the key drivers of the observed geographical variation in growth and maturation of sole.
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