A new mechanistic approach for the further development of a population with established size bimodality

PLoS ONE
By: , and 

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Abstract

Usually, the origin of a within-cohort bimodal size distribution is assumed to be caused by initial size differences or by one discrete period of accelerated growth for one part of the population. The aim of this study was to determine if more continuous pathways exist allowing shifts from the small to the large fraction within a bimodal age-cohort. Therefore, a Eurasian perch population, which had already developed a bimodal size-distribution and had differential resource use of the two size-cohorts, was examined. Results revealed that formation of a bimodal size-distribution can be a continuous process. Perch from the small size-cohort were able to grow into the large size-cohort by feeding on macroinvertebrates not used by their conspecifics. The diet shifts were accompanied by morphological shape changes. Intra-specific competition seemed to trigger the development towards an increasing number of large individuals. A stage-structured matrix model confirmed these assumptions. The fact that bimodality can be a continuous process is important to consider for the understanding of ecological processes and links within ecosystems.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A new mechanistic approach for the further development of a population with established size bimodality
Series title PLoS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0179339
Volume 12
Issue 6
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher PLoS
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description e0179339; 18 p.
First page 1
Last page 18