, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 169-174

Mating success of alternative maturation phenotypes in male Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar

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Mature male parr successfully fertilized eggs of anadromous female Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, in competition with anadromous males under simulated natural conditions. Mating situations were created in which mature male parr and anadromous males competing for the opportunity to spawn with an anadromous female differed in allelic forms of the same enzyme. Females deposited eggs into a sequence of 3 or 4 eggs nests. The mean proportion of eggs in a redd fertilized by parr increased with increasing numbers of parr present at a redd, reaching 23% at male parr: anadromous male ratios of 20:1. Single male parr fertilized, on average, 5% of the eggs in a redd. The proportion of eggs in an egg nest fertilized by parr also depended upon the order of egg nest construction, such that parr mating success was highest at the initial nest constructed and lowest at the final nest. Parr have relatively high fertilization success for their size when compared with the smaller maturation phenotype of other salmonids.