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Data from: Inbreeding depression does not increase after exposure to a stressful environment: a test using compensatory growth

Citation

Vega-Trejo, Regina; Head, Megan L.; Jennions, Michael D. (2016), Data from: Inbreeding depression does not increase after exposure to a stressful environment: a test using compensatory growth, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mb2gb

Abstract

Background: Inbreeding is often associated with a decrease in offspring fitness (‘inbreeding depression’). Moreover, it is generally assumed that the negative effects of inbreeding are exacerbated in stressful environments. This G × E interaction has been explored in many taxa under different environmental conditions. These studies usually manipulate environmental conditions either in adulthood or throughout an individual’s entire life. Far fewer studies have tested how stressful environments only experienced during development subsequently influence the effects of inbreeding on adult traits. Results: We experimentally manipulated the diet (control versus low food) of inbred and outbred juvenile Eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) for three weeks (days 7-28) to test whether experiencing a presumably stressful environment early in life influences their subsequent growth and adult phenotypes. The control diet was a standard laboratory food regime, while fish on the low food diet received less than 25 % of this amount of food. Unexpectedly, despite a large sample size (237 families, 908 offspring) and a quantified 23 % reduction in genome-wide heterozygosity in inbred offspring from matings between full-siblings (f = 0.25), neither inbreeding nor its interaction with early diet affected growth trajectories, juvenile survival or adult size. Individuals did not mitigate a poor start in life by showing ‘compensatory growth’ (i.e. faster growth once the low food treatment ended), but they showed ‘catch-up growth’ by delaying maturation. There was, however, no effect of inbreeding on the extent of catch-up growth. Conclusions: There were no detectable effects of inbreeding on growth or adult size, even on a low food diet that should elevate inbreeding depression. Thus, the long-term costs of inbreeding due to lower male reproductive success we have shown in another study appear to be unrelated to inbreeding depression for adult male size or the growth rates that are reported in the current study.

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