, Volume 151, Issue 3, pp 919-934
Date: 05 Dec 2006

Reproductive biology of deep-water calanoid copepods from the Arctic Ocean

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Abstract

Reproductive modes and egg production were studied in 15 species of meso- and bathypelagic copepods from nine Calanoida families in the Arctic Ocean. During shipboard incubation, females of seven species released eggs freely into the water and females of three species produced membrane-bound egg sacs. One species, Aetideopsis rostrata, produced a mass of eggs looking like an egg sac, but the “sac” lacked a membrane and disintegrated within 2 h. Females of four additional species were encountered with membrane-bound egg sacs in the preserved samples. In most families, only one reproductive mode, either egg-carrying (the Euchaetidae, Augaptilidae), or broadcast spawning (the Heterorhabdidae, Spinocalanidae, Scolecitrichidae, Tharybidae, Bathypontiidae) was observed. In contrast, different genera of the Aetideidae family demonstrated different reproductive modes, with broadcast spawning predominant in the benthopelagic species, and both broadcast spawning and egg-brooding in the planktonic species. Clutch size and egg diameter varied widely between species in both broadcast spawners and egg-brooders. In broadcast spawners, the clutch size varied from 1 to 95 eggs female−1, while the average egg diameter ranged from 152 to 440 μm. The clutch size for egg brooders varied between 3 and 82, while average egg diameter varied from 258 to 732 μm. Deep-water broadcast spawners produced much larger eggs compared to surface-dwelling broadcast spawning species. This larger egg size may result in a reduction, or elimination, of feeding during naupliar stages, thereby improving the survival potential of deep-water species.

Communicated by O. Kinne, Oldendorf/Luhe.