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BROOD SIZE DOES NOT INFLUENCE THE BEHAVIOUR OR DENSITY OF LARVAL AND JUVENILE SMALLMOUTH BASS UNDER PARENTAL CARE

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We used fine scale observations of individual broods of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) to ask whether brood size had an effect on feeding behaviour, agonistic behaviour, nearest-neighbour distance or brood density of larvae and juveniles. Developmental phase, and not brood size, provided the only significant effect on individual behaviour. The dispersion of broods in the nearshore zone of the lake increased throughout the parental care period in response to both developmental phase and brood size. The density of fish in broods (number of fish/m2 of lake surface/brood) declined sharply before metamorphosis and remained relatively constant throughout the remaining parental care period. However, at any particular developmental phase, the density of fish in broods was unrelated to the total numbers of fish in a brood. The observation of increasing dispersion of broods during parental care while, at any developmental phase, the density of fish remains independent of brood size has important implications for the ecology of young-of-year smallmouth bass. The possible mechanisms governing this phenomenon may be similar to those proposed for schooling fish and the movements of large migratory mammals.

10.1163/156853900501872
/content/journals/10.1163/156853900501872
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853900501872
2000-01-01
2016-12-11

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