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Reproductive traits explain contrasting ecological features in sponges: the sympatric poecilosclerids Hemimycale columella and Crella elegans as examples.

AuthorsPerez-Porro, Alicia-R.; González, J.; Uriz, María Jesús
KeywordsReproductive cycle
Embryo ultrastructure
Larva ultrastructure
Reproductive investment
Hemimycale columella
Crella elegans
Mediterranean Sea
Issue Date2012
CitationHydrobiologia 687:315–330 (2012)
AbstractOur study focused on the Mediterranean species Hemimycale columella and Crella elegans, which have overlapping ecological distributions but contrasting population densities and resilience. We formulated the hypothesis that differential reproductive traits were the main cause underlying these ecological differences in the study area. The issues addressed were whether recruits compete for the substrate, either because their respective reproductive cycles overlap or/and larval performance differs between species, and whether a contrasting investment in reproduction contributed to explain their diverse densities. Both species were simultaneous hermaphrodites and incubated their larvae. The reproductive period was notably shorter in C. elegans than in H. columella, while investment in reproductive tissue was higher in individuals of H. columella than in C. elegans. In contrast, C. elegans larvae harbored larger amounts of lipids and yolk inclusions than H. columella larvae. Moreover, the former contained amazing collagen masses densely packed among their inner cells. H. columella is likely to produce a higher number of poorer equipped larvae while C. elegans seems to produce a lower number of more resistant, better fitted with energy reserves, and thus potentially more successful larvae. These reproductive patterns agree with a higher and stable density of C. elegans in the study site compared with a more variable abundance of H. columella.
Description16 páginas, 11 figuras.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10750-011-0919-6
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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