Sperm environment affects offspring quality in broadcast spawning marine invertebrates

Marshall, Dustin John, Styan, Craig and Keough, Michael James 2002, Sperm environment affects offspring quality in broadcast spawning marine invertebrates, Ecology letters, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 173-176, doi: 10.1046/j.1461-0248.2002.00257.x.

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Title Sperm environment affects offspring quality in broadcast spawning marine invertebrates
Author(s) Marshall, Dustin John
Styan, Craig
Keough, Michael James
Journal name Ecology letters
Volume number 5
Issue number 2
Start page 173
End page 176
Publisher Blackwell Science
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2002-03
ISSN 1461-023X
Keyword(s) Ascidians
egg size
fertilization dynamics
maternal effects
Pyura stolonifera
Summary The provisioning of offspring can have far-reaching consequences for later life in a wide range of organisms and generally this provisioning is thought to be under maternal influence or control. In experiments with a broadcast-spawning ascidian, we found that the size of offspring was determined by egg size and the abundance of sperm present during fertilization. Larger eggs were fertilized at low sperm concentrations, whilst smaller eggs were successfully fertilized at high sperm concentrations. These differences in fertilized egg size resulted in differences in the development rate, hatching success and mean size of the subsequent larvae. Our results suggest that, in contrast to females that reproduce by other mating systems, free-spawning mothers lack some control over the provisioning of offspring. Furthermore, because males can alter the sperm environment, they can exert paternal (non-genetic) control over key offspring characteristics.
Language eng
DOI 10.1046/j.1461-0248.2002.00257.x
Field of Research 060808 Invertebrate Biology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, Blackwell Science Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006628

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