Seasonal variation in dry weight and elemental composition of the early developmental stages of Petrolisthes laevigatus (Guérin, 1835) (Decapoda: Porcellanidae) in the Seno de Reloncaví, southern Chile


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Klaus.Anger [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

In the Seno de Reloncaví, southern Chile, seasonal changes in dry weight (DW) and elemental composition (CHN) were studied in embryo (initial embryonic stage), newly hatched zoeae, and newly settled megalopae of a porcelain crab, Petrolisthes laevigatus. Samples were taken throughout the seasons of egg laying (March-December), hatching (August-February), and settlement (October–February). Values of DW and CHN per embryo or larva, respectively, were consistently minimum in the middle of each season and maximum near its beginning and end. Patterns of seasonal variation in early embryonic biomass may thus be carried over to larvae at hatching and, possibly, to the settlement stage. Such carry-over effects may be selectively advantageous, as zoeae released at the beginning or near the end of the hatching season face conditions of poor planktonic food availability in combination with low winter temperatures or decreasing temperatures at the end of summer (enforcing long development duration). Hence, an enhanced female energy allocation into egg production may subsequently translate to enhanced yolk reserves remaining at hatching, allowing for a larval development under unfavourable winter conditions. In summer, by contrast, plankton productivity and temperatures are generally high, allowing for fast larval growth and development. This coincides with minimal biomass and energy contents both at hatching and settlement. In conclusion, our data suggest that seasonal patterns in the biomass of early developmental stages of P. laevigatus may reflect phenotypic variability as an adaptive response to predictable variations in environmental conditions, allowing this species to reproduce in temperate regions with marked seasonality in water temperature and plankton productivity.



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Scopus/ISI peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
32517
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Gebauer, P. , Paschke, K. , Barría, A. and Anger, K. (2013): Seasonal variation in dry weight and elemental composition of the early developmental stages of Petrolisthes laevigatus (Guérin, 1835) (Decapoda: Porcellanidae) in the Seno de Reloncaví, southern Chile , Helgoland Marine Research, 67 (1), pp. 167-177 .


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