The influence of hybridization with domesticated conspecifics on alternative reproductive phenotypes in male atlantic salmon in multiple temperature regimes

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Abstract

Alternative reproductive phenotypes represent adaptive life-history responses to local environments. Hybridization with domesticated conspecifics exposed to selection against one of the phenotypes could affect the plasticity and incidence of alternative reproductive phenotypes within wild populations, potentially influencing individual fitness and population viability. We addressed this hypothesis by undertaking a common-garden experiment on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), a species in which males mature either as large, migratory anadromous individuals or as small, generally nonmigratory parr. Comparing one wild population and two domesticated–wild hybrids (F1, wild backcrosses), we evaluated the incidence of parr maturity at three different temperatures. Parr maturation probability exhibited a significant quadratic relationship with body mass. Early maturation was absent in the coldest temperature treatment. Body-size maturation thresholds were higher in the warmest temperature treatment relative to the intermediate temperature treatment, resulting in a similar incidence of maturation in both treatments despite increased growth in the warmest temperature treatment. Although body-size thresholds for parr maturity did not differ between crosses, F1 hybrids and backcrosses exhibited a lower incidence of maturity relative to wild fish (4.8%, 9.3%, and 30.1%, respectively). Changes in the incidence of alternative maturation phenotypes resulting from temperature and domesticated–wild hybridization could have negative fitness consequences for wild populations.

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Yates, M. C., Debes, P. V., Fraser, D. J., & Hutchings, J. A. (2015). The influence of hybridization with domesticated conspecifics on alternative reproductive phenotypes in male atlantic salmon in multiple temperature regimes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 72(8), 1138–1145. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2014-0527

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