Climate and body size influence nest survival in a fish with parental care

Authors

  • C. D. SUSKI,

    1. Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research, Aquatic Research and Development Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Trent University, 2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8, Canada
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  • M. S. RIDGWAY

    1. Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research, Aquatic Research and Development Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Trent University, 2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8, Canada
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and present address: C. D. Suski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Sciences, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL, USA 61801. Tel.: (217)244-2237. Fax: (217)244-3219. E-mail: suski@uiuc.edu

Summary

  • 1The current study examined the effect of broad-scale climate and individual-specific covariates on nest survival in smallmouth bass over a 20-year period.
  • 2Large-scale climate indices [winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and winter El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)] and body size of parental males were important covariates in nest survival along with nest age and a quadratic trend in survival.
  • 3We did not find an effect due to a habitat covariate (total effective fetch) or a phenology covariate (degree-days at start of nesting) on nest survival.
  • 4Male size in the second half of the nesting season was a more influential covariate on nest success than male size in the first half or throughout the nesting period.
  • 5We present evidence showing that winter NAO/ENSO indices establish limnological conditions the following spring that influence thermal stability of the lake during the nesting period.
  • 6The combined climate and body size covariates point to nest survival as a function of lagged climate-scale influences on limnology and the individual-scale influence of bioenergetics on the duration of parental care and nest success.

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