Effects of golden shiner (Notemigonuscrysoleucas ) nest association on host pumpkinseeds (Lepomisgibbosus ): evidence for a non-parasitic relationship
The reproductive success of male parental pumpkinseeds, Lepomisgibbosus, was studied in relation to the use of their nests by spawning golden shiners, Notemigonuscrysoleucas. The brood size of pumpkinseeds with and without golden shiner's young was compared in a field population. Mean egg and larval numbers of pumpkinseeds did not differ between broods with and without shiners, suggesting that shiners had no net effect on the fitness of host pumpkinseeds. In the laboratory, however, hatching success of pumpkinseed embryos was significantly lower with shiners than without. This difference was attributable to fungal infection. Against this fitness loss, the presence of shiner larvae reduced predation on pumpkinseed larvae in laboratory experiments. Thus, two counteracting mechanisms are proposed to account for no observed net effect on the host: (1) increased fungal infection on pumpkinseed embryos and (2) decreased predation on pumpkinseed young.
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