May natural parasite infection affect the reproduction success of European bitterling?


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Year of publication 2010
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Parasites may affect their host reproduction in many ways. We investigated reproduction success during one reproductive season of naturally infected European bitterling. Fish reproduction success was measured as total (total number or sired offspring during the reproductive season of particular fish) and relative (proportion of offspring among parents within particular treatment). The intensity of parasite infection was negatively correlated with both the total and relative reproductive success in territorial males, whilst no association between parasite infection and number of offspring was found in subordinate males. The female reproductive success indicated a trend of preference for territorial males in more infected females, suggesting their tendency to decreased female choice. Our results showed that although natural parasite infection plays only marginal role in the reproductive success in European bitterling, its importance may be manifested in energy demanding strategies such as territoriality.
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