Authors: Mariana Álvarez-Noriega, Craig R White, Jan Kozłowski, Troy Day, and Dustin J Marshall
Published in: PLOS Biology
Within many species, and particularly fish, fecundity does not scale with mass linearly; instead, it scales disproportionately. Disproportionate intraspecific size–reproduction relationships contradict most theories of biological growth and present challenges for the management of biological systems. Yet the drivers of reproductive scaling remain obscure and systematic predictors of how and why reproduction scaling varies are lacking.
Here, we parameterise life history optimisation model to predict global patterns in the life histories of marine fishes. Our model predicts latitudinal trends in life histories: Polar fish should reproduce at a later age and show steeper reproductive scaling than tropical fish.
We tested and confirmed these predictions using a new, global dataset of marine fish life histories, demonstrating that the risks of mortality shape maturation and reproductive scaling.
Our model also predicts that global warming will profoundly reshape fish life histories, favouring earlier reproduction, smaller body sizes, and lower mass-specific reproductive outputs, with worrying consequences for population persistence.
Álvarez-Noriega M, White CR, Kozłowski J, Day T, Marshall DJ (2023) Life history optimisation drives latitudinal gradients and responses to global change in marine fishes. PLOS Biology PDF DOI