Ecological and evolutionary consequences of alternative sex-change pathways in fish

Benvenuto, C ORCID: 0000-0002-8378-8168, Coscia, I, Chopelet, J, Sala-Bozano, M and Mariani, S 2017, 'Ecological and evolutionary consequences of alternative sex-change pathways in fish' , Scientific Reports, 7 (9804) .

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Sequentially hermaphroditic fish change sex from male to female (protandry) or vice versa (protogyny), increasing their fitness by becoming highly fecund females or large dominant males, respectively. These life-history strategies present different social organizations and reproductive modes, from near-random mating in protandry, to aggregate- and harem-spawning in protogyny. Using a combination of theoretical and molecular approaches, we compared variance in reproductive success (Vk*) and effective population sizes (Ne) in several species of sex-changing fish. We observed that, regardless of the direction of sex change, individuals conform to the same overall strategy, producing more offspring and exhibiting greater Vk* in the second sex. However, protogynous species show greater Vk*, especially pronounced in haremic species, resulting in an overall reduction of Ne compared to protandrous species. Collectively and independently, our results demonstrate that the direction of sex change is a pivotal variable in predicting demographic changes and resilience in sex-changing fish, many of which sustain highly valued and vulnerable fisheries worldwide.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Related URLs:
Depositing User: WM Taylor
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 14:33
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2018 07:56

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