MEPS 441:213-223 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09382

Batch spawning decreases competition among early life stages in coastal fishes: a simulation study using red drum Sciaenops ocellatus

Shinnosuke Nakayama1,3,*, Kenneth A. Rose2, Lee A. Fuiman1

1Marine Science Institute, Department of Marine Science, The University of Texas at Austin, 750 Channel View Drive, Port Aransas, Texas 78373, USA
2Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University,
2135 Energy, Coast and Environment Building, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA
3Present address: Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK

ABSTRACT: Batch spawning (reproducing multiple times in a single reproductive season) is mainly considered to be a bet-hedging strategy to cope with environmental uncertainty, but little attention is paid to its consequences for competitive environments of offspring. Here, we investigate how batch-spawning traits can affect recruitment success when offspring experience size- and density-dependent interference competition. Using an individual-based model, we simulated recruitment of a typical batch-spawning coastal fish in the Gulf of Mexico, where spawning occurs in spatially heterogeneous environments over a single spawning season. We examined the effects of competition intensity among offspring on recruitment success. As offspring were more competitive, higher recruitment was achieved when a population showed batch spawning compared to single spawning. Moreover, interference competition among offspring yielded an increase in total recruitment when the competition intensity was low, suggesting that offspring competition is not always detrimental to recruitment success. Our study proposes a beneficial consequence of a batch-spawning strategy—increasing recruitment by reducing competition among offspring.


KEY WORDS: Asymmetric competition · Feeding · Habitat quality · Intraspecific competition


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Cite this article as: Nakayama S, Rose KA, Fuiman LA (2011) Batch spawning decreases competition among early life stages in coastal fishes: a simulation study using red drum Sciaenops ocellatus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 441:213-223. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09382

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