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J Hered. 2010 Jul-Aug;101(4):461-8. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esq042. Epub 2010 May 7.

Indirect benefits for female salmon from mating with brown trout.

Author information

1
Departamento de Biología Funcional, Area de Genetica, Universidad de Oviedo, C/ Julian Claveria s/n 33006 Oviedo, Spain.

Abstract

By genetic analysis of 1625 samples from 10 south European rivers, we have found that Atlantic salmon Salmo salar hybridize with sympatric brown trout S. trutta in the wild and provide the female in most heterospecific crosses. Hybrids exhibit reduced fertility and could be considered a wasted reproductive effort by salmon females. In 7 experiments involving salmon females, large brown trout males, and small salmon male sneakers, reproductive success of Atlantic salmon females mating with brown trout males was not significantly different from that of 5 experiments of females mating with conspecific males because small Atlantic salmon sneakers fertilized most ova (mean 93%) in salmon x trout matings. Although egg retention tended to be higher in heterospecific than in conspecific crosses (mean 5.7% vs. 20.5% respectively), mean offspring survival was 24.4% and 30.3%, respectively (t = 1.5 x 10(-8), not significant). Brown trout males taking on a courting role may benefit late-maturing females in absence or scarcity of anadromous salmon males because they play a protective role against disturbances from other fishes (including cannibal sneakers).

PMID:
20453033
DOI:
10.1093/jhered/esq042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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