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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 617-618:81-94 (2019)  -  DOI:

Genetic origin and salinity history influence the reproductive success of Atlantic herring

Florian Berg1,2,*, Aril Slotte2, Leif Andersson3,4,5, Arild Folkvord1,2

1University of Bergen, Department of Biological Sciences, Post Box 7803, 5020 Bergen, Norway
2Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Post Box 1870 Nordnes, 5018 Bergen, Norway
3Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, SE-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden
4Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
5Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4458, USA
*Corresponding author:
Advance View was available online September 6, 2018

ABSTRACT: Atlantic herring populations inhabit environments ranging in salinity from fully marine to nearly freshwater, but their relative reproductive success in these respective environments remains unclear. We conducted factorial crossing experiments using parents from 3 wild populations associated with different salinity environments: the Baltic Sea (~6 psu), an inland brackish lake in Norway (Landvikvannet, ~16 psu), and the Atlantic (~30 to 35 psu). Further experiments used crosses within and between Atlantic purebreds and Atlantic/Baltic hybrids reared until first maturity at 3 yr of age. Crossing experiments were conducted at 6, 16 and 35 psu. Fertilization and hatching rates were estimated, and egg sizes were measured. Fertilization rates were highest at 16 psu for all combinations. The paternal genetic and salinity origin influenced fertilization rates at 6 and 35 psu, indicating a genetic adaptation to their original environment. Fertilization rates for males originating from 16 psu were low at 35 psu. Atlantic/Baltic hybrids had lower fertilization rates than Atlantic purebreds at 35 psu. Hatching rates were not influenced by any parental factors or salinity. Maternal effects and salinity influenced egg size. Atlantic females had significantly larger eggs than the Atlantic/Baltic hybrid females. For all genetic groups, egg size decreased with increasing salinity at incubation mainly due to osmotic effects. The observed lower fertilization success at salinities other than those of the parental fish habitat would have evolutionary consequences when herring colonize new habitats with different salinities or if interbreeding occurred between populations originating from different salinity habitats.

KEY WORDS: Common garden · Fertilization experiment · Salinity · Clupea harengus · Reproduction · Egg size · Connectivity

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Cite this article as: Berg F, Slotte A, Andersson L, Folkvord A (2019) Genetic origin and salinity history influence the reproductive success of Atlantic herring. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 617-618:81-94.

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