MEPS 303:259-267 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps303259

Maternal and paternal influences on early life history traits and processes of Baltic cod Gadus morhua

Edward A. Trippel1, *, Gerd Kraus2, Friedrich W. Köster2, 3

1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station, 531 Brandy Cove Road, St. Andrews, New Brunswick E5B 2L9, Canada
2Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
3Present address: Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Charlottenlund Castle, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

ABSTRACT: Embryo survival, larval standard length, yolk-sac area, yolk utilization and resistance to starvation were significantly influenced by the female parent and the interaction between both parents of Baltic Sea cod Gadus morhua in a gamete factorial cross of 3 females and 5 males in all possible combinations. The proportion of variance in embryonic survivorship that was due to maternity during incubation was significant during the first 4 d, but was insignificant during the 5 to 9 d interval. During the 5 to 9 d interval, the male–female interaction was significant. Standard lengths at hatch and 5 d post hatch and specific growth rate of unfed yolk-sac larvae were strongly influenced by the female. Equivalent amounts of variation in larval resistance to starvation were explained by maternity and bi-parental interaction. Paternity alone did not explain a significant amount of variation for the traits or processes examined. The bi-parental interactions reported demonstrate a female’s choice of mate could significantly influence the early life survivorship of Baltic cod offspring.

KEY WORDS: Parental effects · Hatch · Larvae · Growth · Starvation · Baltic cod

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