Environmental tipping points for sperm motility, fertilization, and embryonic development in the crown-of-thorns starfish

Caballes, Ciemon Frank, Pratchett, Morgan S., Raymundo, Maia L. and Rivera-Posada, Jairo A. (2017) Environmental tipping points for sperm motility, fertilization, and embryonic development in the crown-of-thorns starfish. Diversity, 9 1: . doi:10.3390/d9010010


Author Caballes, Ciemon Frank
Pratchett, Morgan S.
Raymundo, Maia L.
Rivera-Posada, Jairo A.
Title Environmental tipping points for sperm motility, fertilization, and embryonic development in the crown-of-thorns starfish
Journal name Diversity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1424-2818
Publication date 2017-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/d9010010
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 1
Total pages 18
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract For broadcast spawning invertebrates such as the crown-of-thorns starfish, early life history stages (from spawning to settlement) may be exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions, and could have a major bearing on reproductive success and population replenishment. Arrested development in response to multiple environmental stressors at the earliest stages can be used to define lower and upper limits for normal development. Here, we compared sperm swimming speeds and proportion of motile sperm and rates of fertilization and early development under a range of environmental variables (temperature: 20-36 °C, salinity: 20-34 psu, and pH: 7.4-8.2) to identify environmental tipping points and thresholds for reproductive success. We also tested the effects of water-soluble compounds, derived from eggs, on sperm activity. Our results demonstrate that gametes, fertilization, and embryonic development are robust to a wide range of temperature, salinity, and pH levels that are outside the range found at the geographical limits of adult distribution and can tolerate environmental conditions that exceed expected anomalies as a result of climate change. Water-soluble compounds derived from eggs also enhanced sperm activity, particularly in environmental conditions where sperm motility was initially limited. These findings suggest that fertilization and embryonic development of crown-of-thorns starfish are tolerant to a wide range of environmental conditions, though environmental constraints on recruitment success may occur at later ontogenic stages.
Keyword Acanthaster outbreaks
Cleavage
Gastrulation
PH
Salinity
Sperm activity
Temperature
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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