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Offspring Size Variation in Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki: Poeciliidae) from Contrasting Thermal Environments

Gary K. Meffe
Copeia
Vol. 1990, No. 1 (Mar. 6, 1990), pp. 10-18
DOI: 10.2307/1445816
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1445816
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Offspring Size Variation in Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki: Poeciliidae) from Contrasting Thermal Environments
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Abstract

Seasonal patterns of offspring size variation in eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki, Poeciliidae) are described from a thermally ambient environment and an unpredictable, thermally elevated system in South Carolina. Newborn mosquitofish (n = 1371) were individually lengthed and weighed shortly after birth; mean offspring size (both length and dry weight) varies among females, seasons, and thermal environments. Size variance was high in all cases but less than half was explainable by environment, season, maternal size, or clutch size; environment and season explain the most variation. Although offspring size is certainly subject to selection (i.e., optimality arguments) and even size variation may be selected for (i.e., plasticity arguments) it should not be overlooked that some portion of variation may be due to uncontrollable "noise" (i.e., the female cannot precisely control offspring size). All three aspects of size variation in mosquitofish remain to be tested.

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