Data from: Maternal effects are long lasting and influence female offspring’s reproductive strategy in the swordtail fish Xiphophorus multilineatus
Murphy, Alexander D.; Goedert, Debora; Morris, Molly R. (2014), Data from: Maternal effects are long lasting and influence female offspring’s reproductive strategy in the swordtail fish Xiphophorus multilineatus, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b8d08
The adaptive benefits of maternal investment into individual offspring (inherited environmental effects) will be shaped by selection on mothers as well as their offspring, often across variable environments. We examined how a mother’s nutritional environment interacted with her offspring’s nutritional and social environment in Xiphophorus multilineatus, a livebearing fish. Fry from mothers reared on two different nutritional diets (HQ = high quality, and LQ = low quality) were all reared on a LQ diet in addition to being split between two social treatments: exposed to a large adult male during development, and not exposed. Mothers raised on a HQ diet produce offspring that were not only initially larger (at 14 days of age), but grew faster, and were larger at sexual maturity, suggesting that the fry produced by mothers on LQ diets were at a disadvantage. Male offspring from mothers raised on both diets responded to the exposure to courter males by growing faster, however the response of their sisters varied with mother’s diet; Females from HQ mothers reduced growth if exposed to a courter male, while females from LQ mothers increased growth. Therefore, we detected variation in maternal investment depending on female size and diet, and the effects of this variation on offspring were long-lasting and sex specific. Our results support the maternal stress hypothesis, with selection on mothers to reduce investment in low quality environments that was not beneficial to the offspring. In addition, the interaction we detected between the mother’s nutritional environment and the female offspring’s social environment suggests that female offspring adopted different reproductive strategies depending on maternal investment.