The cost of being a caring mother: the ignored factor in the reproduction of marine invertebrates

Citation
M. Fernandez et al., The cost of being a caring mother: the ignored factor in the reproduction of marine invertebrates, ECOL LETT, 3(6), 2000, pp. 487-494
Citations number
35
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
ECOLOGY LETTERS
ISSN journal
1461-023X → ACNP
Volume
3
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
487 - 494
Database
ISI
SICI code
1461-023X(200011)3:6<487:TCOBAC>2.0.ZU;2-7
Abstract
Investment in reproduction ranges from gamete production to active parental care, and marine invertebrates span this range. However, the cost of paren tal care has not yet been systematically quantified, nor incorporated into life history studies of marine invertebrates, in contrast to most other ani mal taxa. Since oxygen is a limiting factor in egg masses of marine inverte brates, we studied patterns of oxygen partial pressure over time in embryo masses of Brachyuran crabs, and correlated these results with the cost of p roviding oxygen to the embryos. We found that: (1) oxygen is limiting in th e embryo masses, (2) female crabs show an active brooding behaviour that we think helps to provide oxygen to the embryo mass, and (3) there is a subst antial parental investment associated with brooding behaviours. Oxygen limi tation and parental investment seem to be associated in many taxa of marine invertebrates, and we suggest that oxygen provision to the embryos may be a critical factor determining parental investment in this group.