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

C. D. Suski, M. S. Ridgway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. The current study examined the effect of broad-scale climate and individual-specific covariates on nest survival in smallmouth bass over a 20-year period. 2. Large-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. 3. We 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. 4. Male 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. 5. We 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. 6. The 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-739
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Limnology
  • North Atlantic Oscillation
  • Recruitment
  • Reproduction
  • Small-mouth bass
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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