Propagule size effects across multiple life-history stages in a marine invertebrate

Rius, Marc, Turon, Xavier, Dias, Gustavo M. and Marshall, Dustin J. (2009) Propagule size effects across multiple life-history stages in a marine invertebrate Functional Ecology, 24, (3), pp. 685-693. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01668.x).


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1.?Mothers must balance the fecundity costs of increasing propagule size with the fitness benefits of increased propagule performance, and the propagule size-performance relationship is crucial for determining this trade-off.

2.?While many studies have examined the propagule size-performance relationship in individual life-history stages, very few have examined the relationship between propagule size and performance across multiple life-history stages despite the ubiquity of complex life cycles.

3.?We examined the consistency of the propagule size-performance relationship across several life-history stages in the marine invertebrate Microcosmus squamiger (Ascidiacea).

4.?Propagule size had effects in some life-history stages and not others: larger propagules hatched sooner as larvae and grew more as juveniles in the field. On the other hand, propagule size had no effect on cell cleavage rates, larval swimming time or post-metamorphic survival in the field.

5.?The effects of propagule size on juvenile size were persistent – juveniles that came from larger propagules were still larger than juveniles that came from smaller propagules after 11 weeks in the field.

6.?We found no evidence of conflicting selection pressures on propagule size among life-history stages. Rather, in this species at least, the selection on propagule size at both the larval and juvenile stage appeared to favour the production of larger propagules. Nevertheless, the slope of the relationship between propagule size and performance was highly variable among life-history stages.

7.?The effects of propagule size across multiple life-history stages are determined by the strength of selection pressures, which can be highly variable in organisms with complex life-cycles.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01668.x
ISSNs: 0269-8463 (print)
Keywords: fertilization, larval size, propagule performance, post-metamorphic, settlement
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems
ePrint ID: 354678
Date :
Date Event
25 November 2009e-pub ahead of print
June 2010Published
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2013 11:23
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:14
Further Information:Google Scholar

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