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Scallop size does not predict amount or rate of induced sperm release
journal contributionposted on 2003-06-01, 00:00 authored by Craig Styan, A Butler
Within populations of broadcast spawning marine invertebrates such as scallops, larger animals typically have larger gonads. Presumably, this means those larger males have more sperm to release than small males. However, there has never been a direct test of whether larger males actually release more sperm, at a higher rate, during spawning. To address this, we compared the allometry of induced sperm release with that of reproductive investment (gonad weight) in ripe males of 2 species of scallops, Chlamys bifrons and Chlamys asperrima. We did not find that larger scallops released more sperm or released it faster than small scallops, and were able to reject the hypothesis that instantaneous sperm release was related to body size in the same way as gonad weight. Consequently, we speculate that if larger broadcast spawning males do release more sperm, they may do so by spawning on more occasions within a reproductive season.