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Reproductive patterns of three intertidal salt-marsh gammaridean amphipods

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Among three sympatric species of epibenthic amphipods found at different tide marks at Jamaica Bay, New York (USA), the length of time juveniles spend with the mother increases and the number of juveniles per brood decreases as tidal height increases. Each brood has two developmental periods: (1) the embryonic period, from ovulation to hatching; (2) the juvenile period, from hatching to emergence from the marsupium. Gammarus palustris, found at the high-tide mark, has a mean juvenile period of 1.7 days and a mean brood size of 12.4 offspring; G. mucronatus, found at mean-tide mark, has a mean juvenile period of 0.8 days and a mean brood size of 27.4 offspring; Melita nitida, found at low-tide mark, has a mean juvenile period of 0.5 days and a mean brood size of 30.0 offspring. Further, the range of days that a juvenile may emerge is widest for G. palustris (0 to 8 days after hatching) and narrowest for M. nitida (0 to 2 days).

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This work was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. at the City University of New York.

Communicated by I. Morris, West Boothbay Harbor

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Borowsky, B. Reproductive patterns of three intertidal salt-marsh gammaridean amphipods. Mar. Biol. 55, 327–334 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00393785

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  • Developmental Period
  • Brood Size
  • Sympatric Species
  • Height Increase
  • Tidal Height