Evol Ecol Res 5: 29-42 (2003) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Environmental predictability and the cost of imperfect information: influences on offspring size variability
Marten A. Koops,* Jeffrey A. Hutchings and Blair K. Adams
Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1, Canada
Address all correspondence to Marten Koops, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6, Canada.
We examined the potential influence of mean egg size and environmental predictability on the variation of egg size within and among female brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis. First, we examined egg size variability as a means of balancing the costs of imperfect information and unequal allocation among eggs, predicting that egg size variability will increase as optimal egg size decreases. In the first empirical test of the imperfect information hypothesis, we found support for this prediction, with the variability of egg sizes within females decreasing as mean egg size increased in every population (n = 10) and year (n = 13) examined. Second, we tested the hypothesis that inter-clutch variability in egg size increases as environments become less predictable. When we compared the variability in egg sizes among females across populations and years, we found greater variability in the mean egg size among females in less predictable environments. Finally, we tested the hypothesis that intra-clutch variability increases as environments become less predictable. When we compared the mean variability in egg size within females across populations and years, we found greater variability in egg sizes within females in less predictable environments. Support for these three hypotheses suggests that there is less egg size variability, both within and among females, when environments are more predictable, and that females use variability in egg size to offset the cost of imperfect information when producing smaller eggs.
Keywords: brook trout, egg size variability, environmental predictability, imperfect information, life-history decisions, Salvelinus fontinalis.
DOWNLOAD A FREE, FULL PDF COPY
IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.
© 2003 Marten A. Koops. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.
Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.
All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.