Do invasive populations of topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva, Temminck and Schlegel) from disturbed and undisturbed habitats follow different life-histories?

Authors


  • Handling Editor: Christoph Jäger

Correspondence: Professor Vladimír Kováč, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Ecology, Comenius University, Mlynská Dolina, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia

E-mail: kovac@fns.uniba.sk

Fax: 00421 2 6542 9064

Abstract

Life-histories of organisms are closely associated with their ontogenetic trajectories that result from an interplay between genes and environment. Ontogeny supplies the organisms with a potential to generate a variety of phenotypes, an emergent property that is essential for species to survive in various environments and/or to establish self-sustaining populations in novel environments. Topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva) is one of the most invasive species in Europe. Life-history traits of three populations of topmouth gudgeon from habitats exposed to disturbances of different intensity were analysed in this study. The main aim was to execute the first statistical test of the hypothesis of alternative ontogenies and invasive potential. To test this hypothesis, quantitative life-history traits, such as absolute and relative fecundity, size of oocytes, size at maturation, and annual gonadosomatic index variation in the three populations of topmouth gudgeon were examined and evaluated statistically. Two of three quantitative parameters of life-history traits support the hypothesis, whereas the third one remains equivocal but not enough to falsify it.

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