Energy allocation trade-offs between life-history traits in the Mediterranean sardine: an ecophysiological approach

Type Article
Date 2022-11
Language English
Author(s) Beauvieux Anais1, Queiros Q1, 2, Metral LuisaORCID1, Dutto GilbertORCID1, Gasset EricORCID1, Criscuolo F3, Fromentin Jean-MarcORCID1, Saraux Claire1, 3, Schull Quentin1
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, Ifremer, IRD, CNRS, 34200 Sète, France
2 : DECOD, INRAE, Institut Agro, IFREMER, 35000 Rennes, France
3 : IPHC-CNRS & Université De Strasbourg, 67200 Strasbourg, France
Source Marine Ecology Progress Series (0171-8630) (Inter-Research Science Center), 2022-11 , Vol. 701 , P. 99-118
DOI 10.3354/meps14183
WOS© Times Cited 4
Keyword(s) Compensatory growth, Capital breeder, Individual quality, Oxidative stress, Reproduction, Maintenance, Sardina pilchardus

Since 2008, there has been a major decrease in the numbers of old and large sardines in the Gulf of Lions, which has had a major effect on regional fisheries. A bottom-up process involving a shift in diet towards smaller planktonic prey has been suggested as the main driver of this development. Yet, the reproductive capacities of the sardines have not changed, suggesting potential modifications in energy allocation trade-offs. Whether this could also affect maintenance, in particular at the end of the winter reproductive period, and explain the lower adult survival and the disappearance of older individuals remains unclear. We therefore experimentally investigated the consequences of seasonal food availability (summer vs. winter) on life-history traits and energy allocation trade-offs at the individual and population levels. Our results indicate that food resources during summer had a major effect on energy reserves and growth, limiting the maximum size and body condition reached at the end of reproduction. In addition, food restrictions during growth and/or reproduction periods led to physiological costs mediated by increased oxidative damage. Mediterranean sardines did not show any ability for compensatory growth and did not appear to be capital breeders. Instead, they displayed individual differences in coping with physiological constraints and displayed various life-history strategies regardless of food availability. We highlighted 3 main individual energy allocation strategies: (1) preferential allocation to body condition or (2) to growth, or (3) simultaneous allocation to reproduction and growth. These issues are key, as climate change is expected to favour smaller phytoplankton, which might amplify the deterioration in the condition of pelagic fish.

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Beauvieux Anais, Queiros Q, Metral Luisa, Dutto Gilbert, Gasset Eric, Criscuolo F, Fromentin Jean-Marc, Saraux Claire, Schull Quentin (2022). Energy allocation trade-offs between life-history traits in the Mediterranean sardine: an ecophysiological approach. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 701, 99-118. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :