Effects of nest site concealment on hatching success, reproductive success, and paternal behavior of the threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus

Robert Craig Sargent, Joseph B. Gebler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Male sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) actively competed for a limited number of clay flowerpots as nest sites in circular wading pools. Males nesting in pots spawned earlier and more often, had higher mean and lower variance for hatching success (number of fry per gram of estimated clutch weight), and suffered fewer stolen fertilizations, nest raids, and territorial encounters than did males nesting outside pots, and in pools without pots (Table 2). Males nesting in pots had the more even temporal distribution of fanning bouts and interfanning intervals; the durations of fanning bouts and interfanning intervals were less variable for these males (Table 2). In replicate aquaria, one male nested on each side of a glass partition and both males spawned approximately simultaneously. Flowerpots were provided to one, both, or neither male. Males with pots had higher mean hatching success, fewer territorial encounters, and the more even temporal distribution of fanning bouts and interfanning intervals (Table 4). Thus it appears that nest site concealment, in the form of clay flowerpots, affected male hatching success, reproductive success, and parental behavior, even when physical contact between males was prevented. These data suggest that a causal relationship may exist between the paternal fanning regime and the subsequent hatching success. Furthermore, these data suggest that males which nest in high concealment increase their reproductive success, and that females which spawn with these males reduce the variance of their hatching success as well as increase their mean hatching success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of nest site concealment on hatching success, reproductive success, and paternal behavior of the threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this