Effects of reproduction on growth and survival in Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, assessed by comparison to triploids

Edward A. Trippel, Ian Butts, Amanda Babin, Steven R.E. Neil, Nathaniel J. Feindel, Tillmann J. Benfey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Despite increasing interest in optimal life history theory and the associated physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes, little information exists on gonad-soma tradeoffs and longevity of individuals over long time periods. We examined somatic and survival costs of reproduction in captive iteroparous, batch-spawning Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), utilizing diploids and triploids, knowing that triploid females invest little to no energy into gametogenesis. Based on annual specific growth rate, there was no evidence for a somatic cost of reproduction at ages 2 (virgin year) and 4. years, but there was at age 3. years. At age 2. years, low investment in reproduction likely accounted for the lack of a somatic cost of reproduction, whereas at age 4 the absence was associated with heightened growth post-spawning enabling mature fish to catch up to immature fish. At age 3, compensatory growth during post-spawning was below that of immature fish. Survival represented a significant component of the cost of reproduction. Laboratory experiments examining the cost of reproduction have traditionally focused on shorter time periods, commonly spanning several months, whereas ours spanned nearly four years. Although previously done for bivalves, to our knowledge, this is the first time the cost of reproduction has been evaluated using triploid fish as a comparator
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Pages (from-to)35-43
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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