Size-selective mortality is common in fish stocks. Positive size-selection happens in fisheries where larger size classes are preferentially targeted while gape-limited natural predation may cause negative size-selection for smaller size classes. As body size and correlated behavioural traits are sexually selected, harvest-induced trait changes may promote prezygotic reproductive barriers among selection lines experiencing differential size-selective mortality. To investigate this, we used three experimental lines of zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to positive (large-harvested), negative (small-harvested) and random (control line) size-selective mortality for five generations. We tested prezygotic preferences through choice tests and spawning trials. In the preference tests without controlling for body size, we found that females of all lines preferred males of the generally larger small-harvested line. When the body size of stimulus fish was statistically controlled, this preference disappeared and a weak evidence of line-assortative preference emerged, but only among largeharvested line fish. In subsequent spawning trials, we did not find evidence for line-assortative reproductive allocation in any of the lines. Our study suggests that size-selection due to fisheries or natural predation does not result in reproductive isolation. Gene flow between wild-populations and populations adapted to size-selected mortality may happen during secondary contact which can speed up trait recovery.
Size selective harvesting does not result in reproductive isolation among experimental lines of zebrafish, Danio rerio: implications for managing harvest-induced evolution
Roy, T., Fromm, K., Sbragaglia, V., Bierbach, D., Arlinghaus, R. (2021). Size selective harvesting does not result in reproductive isolation among experimental lines of zebrafish, Danio rerio: implications for managing harvest-induced evolution. Biology, 10, 113
Appeared in : Biology, 10, 113