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Seasonal timing of ecosystem linkage contributes to maintaining life-history variation in a salmonid fish population
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  • Rui Ueda,
  • Minoru Kanaiwa,
  • Akira Terui,
  • Gaku Takimoto,
  • Takuya Sato
Rui Ueda
Kobe University Graduate School of Science Faculty of Science

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Minoru Kanaiwa
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Akira Terui
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Gaku Takimoto
The University of Tokyo
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Takuya Sato
Kyoto University
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Life-history variation can contribute to long-term persistence of populations, but it remains unknown what ecosystem properties maintain life-history variation within a population. Seasonally recurring resource subsidies are common in nature, but human-induced environmental changes, including global climate change, are causing temporal shifts and decline in those subsidies. We experimentally demonstrated that the terrestrial invertebrate subsidy occurring early in a growing season facilitated red-spotted masu salmon individuals to adopt a fast life, while the early-subsidy also maintained individuals that adopted a slow life. In contrast, the late-subsidy did not increase the fast-life individuals as much as the early-subsidy did. Consequently, the life-history variation was higher in the early-subsidy treatment than in late-subsidy treatment and no-subsidy control. The variation in life-history was not simply explained by the growth-survival trade-off. These results highlight the role of seasonal ecosystem linkages in maintaining life-history variation within a population and securing population stability at land-scape scale.