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Turbidity hampers mate choice in a pipefish
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
2010 (English)In: Ethology, ISSN 0179-1613, E-ISSN 1439-0310, Vol. 116, no 8, 713-721 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

European coastal waters have in recent years become more turbid as algal growth has increased, probably due to eutrophication, global warming and changes in fish communities. Turbidity reduces visibility, and such changes may in turn affect animal behaviour as well as evolutionary processes that are dependent on visual stimuli. In this study we experimentally manipulated water visibility and olfactory cues to investigate mate choice using the sex role-reversed broad-nosed pipefish Syngnathus typhle as our study organism. We show that males spent significantly longer time assessing females when they had access to full visual cues, compared to when visibility was reduced. Presence or absence of olfactory cues from females did not affect mate choice, suggesting that the possible use of smell could not make up for a reduction in visibility. This implies that mate choice is environmentally dependent and that an increased turbidity may affect processes of sexual selection through an impaired possibility for visually based mate choice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 116, no 8, 713-721 p.
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132342DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2010.01787.xISI: 000279443000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-132342DiVA: diva2:357549
Available from: 2010-10-18 Created: 2010-10-18 Last updated: 2016-04-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sex in Murky Waters: Anthropogenic Disturbance of Sexual Selection in Pipefish
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sex in Murky Waters: Anthropogenic Disturbance of Sexual Selection in Pipefish
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Animals experience variation in their environment because of natural changes. However, due to anthropogenic disturbance, the speed and severity of these changes have recently increased. This thesis investigates how reproductive behaviours may be affected by human induced environmental change. In specific, I investigate how visual and chemical changes in the aquatic environment, caused by eutrophication, affect mating systems and sexual selection in fish. Broad-nosed- and straight-nosed pipefish, which both have been studied in detail for a long period, were used as model organisms. These two species are particularly suitable model organisms since they perform complex courtship behaviours, including the advertisement of ornaments and a nuptial dance. Further, two distinct populations were studied, one on the Swedish west coast and one in the Baltic Sea, as these two locations vary in the degree and extent of environmental disturbance, in particular turbidity. I found that changes in the visual environment had no impact on the development of female sexual ornaments in these sex-role reversed pipefishes, but it hampered adaptive mate choice. Turbidity also had a negative effect on reproductive success in the Baltic Sea population. Changes in the chemical environment in the form of increased pH reduced the probability to mate, while hypoxia did not alter mating propensity. However, hypoxic water delayed the onset of both courting and mating. Hence, human induced change in aquatic environments may alter the processes of sexual selection and population dynamics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 35 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1022
Keyword
Mating system, Mate choice, Courtship, Eutrophication, Turbidity, Hypoxia, Ocean acidification, Syngnathidae
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195861 (URN)978-91-554-8603-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-19, Zootissalen, EBC, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-03-21 Created: 2013-02-27 Last updated: 2013-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Sundin, JosefinBerglund, AndersRosenqvist, Gunilla

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