Parental influence on the size and age at maturity of bluegills

Randall W. Oplinger, David H Wahl, David P. Philipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus is one of the most ubiquitous fish species in North America and often exhibits a stunted population size structure. Although previous research has shown that the size and density of mature males have a significant influence on Bluegill size and age at maturity, little is known about the influence that mature females have on Bluegill life history. Offspring produced by four possible crosses of Bluegill males and females from stunted and nonstunted source populations were raised in a common-garden environment, and we compared size and age at maturity among these groups of offspring to determine whether the traits are maternally inherited. Growth, age at maturity, and energy investment into maturation did not differ between offspring of females from the two source populations, thus indicating that Bluegill size and age at maturity are not maternally inherited. Instead, the occurrence of stunting in Bluegills appears to be linked to previously identified in-situ environmental factors, such asmale social structure and predator presence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1074
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 4 2013


  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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