Effects of egg size on the development time of non-feeding larvae

Marshall, Dustin J. and Bolton, Toby F. (2007) Effects of egg size on the development time of non-feeding larvae. Biological Bulletin, 212 1: 6-11.

Author Marshall, Dustin J.
Bolton, Toby F.
Title Effects of egg size on the development time of non-feeding larvae
Journal name Biological Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3185
Publication date 2007-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 212
Issue 1
Start page 6
End page 11
Total pages 6
Editor J. L. Olds
Place of publication Woods Hole, MA, USA
Publisher Marine Biological Laboratory
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
270702 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
270706 Life Histories (incl. Population Ecology)
770403 Living resources (flora and fauna)
770302 Living resources (incl. impacts of fishing on non-target species)
Abstract The evolution of egg size in marine invertebrates remains a topic of central importance for life-history biologists, and the pioneering work of Vance has strongly influenced our current views. Vance's model and most models developed since have assumed that increases in egg Size result in an increase in the prefeeding period of marine invertebrate larvae. For lecithotrophic species, this means that the entire development period should be correlated with egg size. Despite the importance of this assumption, it has not been tested at the appropriate scale-within species. We investigated the effects of egg size on development time for three lecithotrophic species from two phyla: the ascidians Phallusia obesa and Ciona intestinalis, and the echinoid Heliocidaris erythrogramma. We found that within individual broods of eggs, larger eggs took longer than smaller eggs to develop or become metamorphically competent larvae. It has long been recognized that producing larger eggs decreases fecundity, but our results show that increasing egg size also carries the extra cost of an extended planktonic period during which mortality can occur. The substantial variation in egg sizes observed within broods may represent a bet-hedging strategy by which offspring with variable dispersal potentials are produced.
Keyword Biology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Marine Benthic Invertebrates
Reproductive Strategies
Fertilization Kinetics
Planktotrophic Larvae
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2008, 16:25:30 EST