When the going gets rough: effect of maternal size manipulation on larval quality

Marshall, D. J. and Keough, M. J. (2004) When the going gets rough: effect of maternal size manipulation on larval quality. Marine Ecology-progress Series, 272 301-305. doi:10.3354/meps272301

Author Marshall, D. J.
Keough, M. J.
Title When the going gets rough: effect of maternal size manipulation on larval quality
Journal name Marine Ecology-progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
Publication date 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps272301
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 272
Start page 301
End page 305
Total pages 5
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Abstract Variation in larval size has been shown to be an important factor for the post-metamorphic performance of marine invertebrates but, despite its importance, few sources of this variation have been identified. For a range of taxa, offspring size is positively correlated with maternal size but the reasons for this correlation remain unclear. We halved the size of colonies in the bryozoan Bugula neritina 1 wk prior to reproduction (but during embryogenesis) to determine if larval size is a fixed or plastic trait. We manipulated colonies in such a way that the ratio of feeding zooids to reproductive zooids was constant between treatment and control colonies. We found that manipulating colony size strongly affects larval size; halved colonies produced larvae that were similar to13% smaller than those produced by intact colonies. We entered these data into a simple model based on previous work to estimate the likely post-metamorphic consequences of this reduction in larval size. The model predicted that larvae that came from manipulated colonies would suffer similar to300% higher post-metamorphic mortality and similar to50% lower fecundity as adults. Colonies that are faced with a stress appear to be trading off current offspring fitness to maximize their own long-term fitness and this may explain previous observations of compensatory growth in colonial organisms. This study demonstrates that larval size is a surprisingly dynamic trait and strong links exist between the maternal phenotype and the fitness of the offspring. The performance of settling larvae may be determined not only by their larval experience but also by the experience of their mothers.
Keyword Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Offspring Size
Maternal Effect
Spawning Marine-invertebrates
Egg Size
Juvenile Performance
Q-Index Code C1

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 29 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 14:26:45 EST