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Mol Ecol. 2010 Aug;19(15):3193-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04744.x.

Mating patterns and determinants of individual reproductive success in brown trout (Salmo trutta) revealed by parentage analysis of an entire stream living population.

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Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway.


Reproductive success and its determinants are difficult to infer for wild populations of species with no parental care where behavioural observations are difficult or impossible. In this study, we characterized the breeding system and provide estimates of individual reproductive success under natural conditions for an exhaustively sampled stream-resident brown trout (Salmo trutta) population. We inferred parentage using a full probability Bayesian model that combines genetic (microsatellite) with phenotypic data. By augmenting the potential parents file with inferred parental genotypes from sib-ship analysis in cases where large families had unsampled parents, we could make more precise inference on variance of family size. We observed both polygamous and monogamous matings and large reproductive skew for both sexes, particularly in males. Correspondingly, we found evidence for sexual selection on body size for both sexes. We show that the mating system of brown trout has the potential to be very flexible and we conjecture that environmental uncertainty could be driving the evolution and perhaps select for the maintenance of plasticity of the mating system in this species.

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