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EXTREME SELECTION ON SIZE IN THE EARLY LIVES OF FISH

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Abstract

Although fitness typically increases with body size and selection gradients on size are generally positive, much of this information comes from terrestrial taxa. In the early life history of fish, there is evidence of selection both for and against larger size, leaving open the question of whether the general pattern for terrestrial taxa is valid for fish. We reviewed studies of size-dependent survival in the early life history of fish and obtained estimates of standardized selection differentials from 40 studies. We found that 77% of estimated selection differentials favored larger size and that the strength of selection was more than five times that seen in terrestrial taxa. Selection decreased with study period duration and initial length, and disruptive selection occurred significantly more frequently than stabilizing selection. Contrary to expectations from Bergmann's rule, selection on size did not increase with latitude.

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