Transgenerational effects of parental nutritional status on offspring development time, survival, fecundity, and sensitivity to zinc in Chironomus tepperi midges.
Fecundity ofChironomus cucini increased linearly across a three-fold range of female pupal biomass. Females from a lake producing small pupae (Crystal Lake) had an average of 303 primary follicles, while larger pupae from Trout Lake had an average fecundity of 582. Pupae produced in Crystal Lake from larvae that received experimental food supplements were intermediate in size and fecundity. Pupal biomass explained 76% of the variation in fecundity. No difference in egg size was detected between pupae from the two lakes, and an average value of 2.1 μg egg−1 was used to calculate the total biomass allocated to eggs in each of 79 females dissected. This measure of reproductive effort scaled isometrically with pupal mass. On average, females allocated 48% of their biomass to eggs and 52% to somatic tissues. A comparison of average male biomass to female somatic biomass across 12 populations indicated that the biomass difference between the sexes is a biased predictor of fecundity.