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Egg size does not universally predict embryonic resources and hatchling size across annual killifish species

Abstract : Egg size has a crucial impact on the reproductive success of a mother and the performance of her offspring. It is therefore reasonable to employ egg size as a proxy for egg content when studying variation in offspring performance. Here, we tested species differences in allometries of several egg content parameters with egg area. We measured individual eggs in five species of annual killifish (Cyprinodontiformes), a group of fish where egg banks permit population survival over dry season. Apart from comparing allometric scaling exponents, amounts and compositions of egg components across the different species, we assessed the explanatory power of egg area for egg wet and dry weight and for hatchling size. We found notable species-specific allometries between egg area and the other egg parameters (egg dry weight and water content, elemental composition and triglyceride content). Across species, egg area predicted egg wet weight with highest power. Within species, coefficients of determination were largest in A. elongatus, a large piscivorous species with large eggs. Our study shows that systematically using egg area as a proxy of egg content between different species can ignore relevant speciesspecific differences and mask within-species variability in egg content.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03096397
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 4:24:25 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 9:57:14 AM

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Milan Vrtílekmilan, Tom Van Dooren, Mégane Beaudard. Egg size does not universally predict embryonic resources and hatchling size across annual killifish species. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, Elsevier, 2020, 249, pp.110769. ⟨10.1016/j.cbpa.2020.110769⟩. ⟨hal-03096397⟩

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