Consequences of spawning at low tide: Limited gamete dispersal for a rockpool anemone

Marshall, Dustin J., Semmens, David and Cook, Carly (2004) Consequences of spawning at low tide: Limited gamete dispersal for a rockpool anemone. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 266 135-142. doi:10.3354/meps266135

Author Marshall, Dustin J.
Semmens, David
Cook, Carly
Title Consequences of spawning at low tide: Limited gamete dispersal for a rockpool anemone
Journal name Marine Ecology-Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
Publication date 2004-01-30
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps266135
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 266
Start page 135
End page 142
Total pages 8
Editor Roger Hughes
Otto Kinne
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research Science Centre
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Recently, there has been much debate surrounding the importance of sperm limitation to the population dynamics and evolution of life-history traits of free-spawning marine invertebrates. The debate is hampered by a lack of measures of fertilisation success from natural spawning events. We observed the natural spawning of the intertidal anemone Oulactis mucosa during a low tide in SE Australia. The fertilisation success of individual females was assessed, as well as the degree of spawning synchrony among and within rockpools. We found that fertilisation success was extremely variable among females; females spawning in rockpools containing spawning males had much higher fertilisation success than females in pools without males. Spawned gametes remained in a viscous matrix throughout the low tide, and the movement of sperm among pools appeared to be minimal. Consequently, isolated females had very low rates of fertilisation success, and spawning synchrony in all-female pools strongly depended on the distance to the nearest neighbouring pool containing a spawning male. We suggest that spawning at low tide may minimise the problems associated with gamete dilution, but also results in poor communication among spawning individuals and thus limited genetic exchange at reproduction and low rates of synchrony.
© Inter-Research 2004
Keyword Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Broadcast spawner
Reproductive success
Chemical communication
Purple sea-urchin
External fertilization
Sperm limitation
Genetic determination
Larval development
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 14:11:16 EST