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Data from: Sperm performance limits the reproduction of an invasive fish in novel salinities

Citation

Green, Leon et al. (2021), Data from: Sperm performance limits the reproduction of an invasive fish in novel salinities, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6djh9w10z

Abstract

Aim: The few fish species able to reproduce across wide osmotic ranges either plastically acclimate sperm performance to, or are locally adapted to, different salinities. The invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) is spreading in Eurasia and the Americas, into both fresh and brackish water. We aim to understand if reproduction in different salinities is affected an ability to acclimate.

Location: Brackish and freshwater systems of northern Europe and the Baltic Sea.

Methods: We cross-exposed round gobies from freshwater and brackish origin to 0 and 16 practical salinity units (PSU), and the fish were given nest boxes to spawn. After four weeks, we measured their sperm performance in both 0 and 16 PSU, fertilization success of each clutch was measured through visual analysis of eggs. Clutches were split and allowed to develop in both 0 and 16 PSU salinity, and reproductive success (zygote development) was measured 20±1 days later. Responses were analyzed using generalized mixed models.

Results: After a month, the fish showed no plasticity in sperm performance to their acclimation salinity, regardless of their origin. Sperm velocity was highest in the salinity similar to the males’ origin. Significantly lower fertilization success was measured for individuals that reproduced outside their salinity of origin despite recurring spawning events in all treatment groups. Among fertilized eggs, zygote development was similar regardless of salinity treatment of either eggs or parents.

Main Conclusions: Short-term acclimation to new salinities does not affect sperm performance in the round goby. Alternative hypotheses such as local adaption should be further investigated. Limits to the species’ reproductive success, and therefore invasion processes, are likely dependent on environment-phenotype matches. Fish of brackish origin spawned successfully in freshwater, pointing to an increased risk of introducing populations of brackish origin into freshwater.

Methods

See associated Open Access paper for methodology.

Usage Notes

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Funding

Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology

Swedish Research Council, Award: 2016-03343

BONUS (BIO-C3 project), Award: Art 185

Letterstedt’s Fellowship Trust

Jacobsson’s Family Trust

Wåhlströms Family Trust

Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology

Swedish Research Council, Award: 2016-03343

BONUS (BIO-C3 project), Award: Art 185

Letterstedt’s Fellowship Trust

Jacobsson’s Family Trust

Wåhlströms Family Trust