Although stunting is a common phenomenon in fish populations, the consequences of stunted body size on the reproductive ecology of individuals has received little attention. The present study compares the reproductive ecology of bluegill in established stunted and non-stunted populations. Three ponds (two non-stunted and one stunted) were monitored for spawning activity throughout the summer. Parental male bluegill from both non-stunted populations were older, larger, and had greater mating success (number of eggs or fry within nests) than parental males in the stunted population. Stunted bluegill also experienced a shortened reproductive season owing to the delay in onset of spawning. The present study demonstrates that individual size and population size structure can have a marked influence on the reproductive ecology of bluegill.
- Mating success
- Spawning activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science