Document Detail

Variation in offspring size with birth order in placental fish: a role for asymmetric sibling competition?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22220881     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Asymmetric sibling competition arises when siblings with different competitive abilities share a limited resource. Such competition occurs in species with postnatal parental care and may also occur when mothers provision embryos between fertilization and birth (matrotrophy). We hypothesized that the combination of matrotrophy and the simultaneous provisioning of embryos in different stages of development (superfetation) leads to asymmetric competition between sibling embryos. Moreover, we expect the intensity of this competition to increase with the level of superfetation as high levels of superfetation result in greater temporal overlap between broods. This hypothesis predicts that offspring from early broods, which predominantly compete with less-developed siblings, will be larger at birth than offspring from later broods, which experience competition from more and less-developed siblings. Data on offspring size at birth from two populations of the highly matrotrophic fish, Heterandria formosa, and similar studies of poeciliid fish spanning a range of life histories are consistent with our hypothesis. Together these results suggest that sibling competition is a direct consequence of the evolution of matrotrophy and superfetation in poeciliid fish.
Matthew Schrader; Joseph Travis
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2011-09-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Evolution; international journal of organic evolution     Volume:  66     ISSN:  1558-5646     ISO Abbreviation:  Evolution     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-01-06     Completed Date:  2012-04-25     Revised Date:  2012-05-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373224     Medline TA:  Evolution     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  272-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution © 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1100, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / physiology
Biological Evolution
Body Size*
Cyprinodontiformes / embryology,  physiology*
Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology*
Litter Size
Viviparity, Nonmammalian*

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