Do egg size and parental care coevolve in fishes?

Authors

  • N. Kolm,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden and
    2. Centre for Ecology, Evolution & Conservation, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K.
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  • I. Ahnesjö

    1. Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden and
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Tel.: +44 (0) 1316 505446; fax: +44 (0) 1316 506564; email: n.kolm@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

A phenomenon that has attracted a substantial theoretical and empirical interest is the positive relationship between egg size and the extent of parental care in fishes. Interestingly, despite the effort put into solving the causality behind this relationship over the past two decades it remains largely unsolved. Moreover, how general the positive relationship between egg size and parental care is among fishes is also poorly understood. In order to stimulate research exploring egg size and parental care variation in fishes, the potential selective forces from both natural and sexual selection on egg size and parental care are discussed. Recent empirical findings on how oxygen requirements and developmental times may differ between differently sized eggs are incorporated into a critical view of the current theory of this field. Furthermore, it is suggested that the up to now neglected effects of sexual selection, through both mate choice and sexual conflict, can have strong effects on the relationship between egg size and parental care in fishes. In light of the recent developments of comparative and experimental methods, future approaches that may improve the understanding of the relationship between egg size and care in fishes are suggested.

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