Hydrobiologia

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 115–123 | Cite as

Reproductive ecology of Naididae (Oligochaeta)

  • Jefferson Parish
Article

Abstract

Asexual reproduction is employed by species of Naididae during favorable environmental conditions. In species characteristic of aquatic habitats subject to rapid fluctuations in water levels and temperatures most individuals in a population become sexually mature, and there is degeneration of the alimentary tract, a shortened breeding season, and aclitellar formation of cocoons. Cocoon deposition allows a population to survive periods of environmental stress. Sexual reproduction predominates near the edges of ranges where stress conditions are more prevalent. Species that reproduce sexually in spring are intolerant of summer conditions, while those that breed in autumn are intolerant of winter. Species typical of environmentally stable bodies of water usually have a minority of the population mature at any time, an extended breeding season, and the ability to continue feeding while mature; thus, adaptations for survival in unstable habitats are lacking.

Keywords

Oligochaeta Naididae sexual reproduction asexual reproduction environmental stress reproductive ecology 

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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jefferson Parish
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental and Development Control Dept.JeffersonU.S.A.

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