Position of eggs in clutch is linked to size at hatching in a demersal tropical fish
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Green, BS and Anthony, KRN and McCormick, MI, Position of eggs in clutch is linked to size at hatching in a demersal tropical fish, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 329, (1) pp. 144 - 152. ISSN 0022-0981 (2006) [Refereed Article]
Size variation among propagules is ubiquitous and small initial differences in size can be critical to survival, particularly in taxa where initial survival is variable and strongly size-dependent. Despite this, the sources of size variation among fish at hatching are rarely investigated. This study examined spatial position within egg clutches as a source of size variation at hatching of the benthic spawning fish Amphiprion melanopus. We quantified within-clutch size variation at hatching and found that newly hatched larvae from the periphery (5 mm from edge) of 2-dimensional clutches were smaller in standard length, cranial depth, eye diameter and body area (7%, 8%, 4% and 11%, respectively) than larvae from the interior positions within clutches. To investigate the source of this variation, sizes of embryos at different locations with clutches were measured within 2 h of fertilisation (8 d before hatching). Newly laid embryos from the clutch periphery were smaller in length and volume than embryos from the clutch interior (> 2% and 4-6%, respectively). These eggs from the periphery also had a 33% lower rate of oxygen consumption than did embryos from the clutch interior, throughout development. The relationships between position within a clutch and egg size, oxygen consumption and larval size imply that size variation in larval fish at hatching is partly generated during early embryogenesis, either from maternal endowment or maternal nest design, and was amplified throughout development. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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