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Biol Lett. 2009 Oct 23;5(5):628-31. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0290. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Plasticity in probabilistic reaction norms for maturation in a salmonid fish.

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  • 1Hokkaido National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, Kushiro 085-0802, Japan.


The relationship between body size and the probability of maturing, often referred to as the probabilistic maturation reaction norm (PMRN), has been increasingly used to infer genetic variation in maturation schedule. Despite this trend, few studies have directly evaluated plasticity in the PMRN. A transplant experiment using white-spotted charr demonstrated that the PMRN for precocious males exhibited plasticity. A smaller threshold size at maturity occurred in charr inhabiting narrow streams where more refuges are probably available for small charr, which in turn might enhance the reproductive success of sneaker precocious males. Our findings suggested that plastic effects should clearly be included in investigations of variation in PMRNs.

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