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Data from: Sex-specific maternal effects in a viviparous fish

Cite this dataset

Kruuk, Loeske E. B.; Livingston, Julianne; Kahn, Andrew; Jennions, Michael D. (2015). Data from: Sex-specific maternal effects in a viviparous fish [Dataset]. Dryad.


Mothers vary in their effects on their offspring, but studies of variation in maternal effects rarely ask whether differences between mothers are consistent for sons and daughters. Here, we analysed maternal effects in the mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki for development time and adult size of sons and daughters, and a primary male sexual character (gonopodium length). We found substantial maternal effects on all traits, most notably for gonopodium length. There were significant correlations within each sex for maternal effects on different traits, indicative of trade-offs between development rate and adult size. By contrast, there was no evidence of any consistency in maternal effects on sons and daughters. This suggests that the evolution of maternal effects will follow independent trajectories dependent on sex-specific selection on offspring. Importantly, failure to recognize the sex-specific nature of maternal effects in this population would have substantially underestimated the extent of their variation between mothers.

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