Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 155, Issue 5, pp 555–561 | Cite as

Brooding behaviour and reproductive success in two species of free-living simultaneous hermaphrodites

  • Emma L. Johnston
  • Ka-Man Lee
Original Paper

Abstract

Although polyclads are amongst the most structurally simple of the triploblastic metazoans, they adopt a wide range of reproductive strategies. Parental care behaviour in this group is yet to be quantified for any species. We assessed the significance of brooding behaviour to the reproductive success of two free-living marine flatworms. Echinoplana celerrima and Stylochus pygmaeus were collected from the field and placed in pairs in containers of filtered seawater where they laid batches of eggs. Both parents were then removed from half of the containers and the brooding behaviour and hatching success of eggs were quantified. There were interspecific differences in brooding behaviour. Egg masses were covered by one E. celerrima parent for 12 ± 2% of time, whereas egg masses of S. pygmaeus were covered by one or both parents simultaneously for 85 ± 8% of time. Egg batches were abandoned by both species immediately prior to the onset of hatching (10–12 days). Hatching success was generally high (~90%) and brooding did not enhance the hatching success of eggs. We assessed the significance of parental care to hatching success of E. celerrima egg masses in the presence of three potential egg predators; in the presence of other organisms. E. celerrima devoted less time to brooding; however, hatching success was not affected. The amount of time spent brooding eggs differed greatly between the two polyclad species but was not essential to their reproductive success under benign conditions. Parental care may be of adaptive value under more stressful environmental conditions commonly experienced in estuarine environments such as lowered salinity, increased hypoxia or turbidity. Covering egg batches may play an additional role of advertising sexual status and a willingness to care for eggs.

Keywords

Parental Care Hatching Success Brooding Behaviour Simultaneous Hermaphrodite Parental Care Behaviour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank A. Beal, G. Sella, M. Thiell, D. Marshall, and M. Naud for useful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. We thank R. Piola for assistance in the field and experimental setup, T. Kwok and C. Wong for collection of seawater. This research was supported by a Faculty Research Grant awarded to E. L. Johnston.

References

  1. Aoki M, Kikuchi T (1991) Two types of maternal care for juveniles observed in Caprella monoceros Mayer, 1890 and Caprella decipiens Mayer, 1890 (Amphipoda: Caprellidae). Hydrobiologia 223:229–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asoh K, Yoshikawa T (2001) Female nest defense in a coral-reef fish, Dascyllus albisella, with uniparental male care. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 51:8–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baeza J, Fernandez M (2002) Active brood care in Cancer setosus (Crustacea: Decapoda): the relationship between female behaviour, embryo oxygen consumption and the cost of brooding. Funct Ecol 16:241–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnard C (2004) The evolution of parental care. In: Animal behaviour: mechanism, development, function and evolution. Pearson Education Limited, Essex, pp 470–532Google Scholar
  5. Blumer LS (1986) The function of parental care in the brown bullhead Ictalurus nebulosus. Am Midl Nat 115:234–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bosch I, Slattery M (1999) Costs of extended brood protection in the Antarctic sea star, Neosmilaster georgianus (Echinodermata: Asteroidea). Mar Biol 134:449–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brante A, Fernandez M, Eckerle L, Mark F, Portner HO, Arntz L (2003) Reproductive investment in the crab Cancer setosus along a latitudinal cline: egg production, embryo losses and embryo ventilation. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 251:221–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Byrne M (2005) Viviparity in the sea star Cryptasterina hystera (Asterinidae)—conserved and modified features in reproduction and development. Biol Bull 208:81–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Charnov E (1982) Sex allocation. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  10. Charrassin J, Bost C, Putz K, Lage L, Dahier T, Zorn T, Le Maho Y (1998) Foraging strategies of incubating and brooding king penguins. Aptenodytes Patagonicus Oecologia 114:194–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chintala MM, Kennedy VS (1993) Reproduction of Stylochus ellipticus (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida) in response to temperature, food, and presence or absence of a partner. Biol Bull 185:373–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clutton-Brock T (1991) The evolution of parental care. Princeton University Press, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  13. Dick J, Bailey R, Elwood R (2002) Maternal care in the rockpool amphipod Apherusa jurinei: developmental and environmental cues. Anim Behav 63:707–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eggert A-K, Reinking M, Muller JK (1998) Parental care improves offspring survival and growth in burying beetles. Anim Behav 55:97–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fernandez M, Bock C, Portner HO (2000) The cost of being a caring mother: the ignored factor in the reproduction of marine invertebrates. Ecol Lett 3:487–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Foighil DO, Taylor DJ (2000) Evolution of parental care and ovulation behavior in oysters. Mol Phylogenet Evol 15:301–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ghiselin M (1987) Evolutionary aspects of marine invertebrate reproduction. In: Giese A, Pearse J, Pearse V (eds) Reproduction of marine invertebrates. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Palo Alto, pp 609–665Google Scholar
  18. Hale R, St Mary C (2007) Nest tending increases reproductive success, sometimes: environmental effects on paternal care and mate choice in flagfish. Anim Behav 74:577–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. King A, Adamo S, Hanlon R (2003) Squid egg mops provide sensory cues for increased agonistic behaviour between male squid. Anim Behav 66:49–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kutschera U, Wirtz P (2001) The evolution of parental care in freshwater leeches. Theory Biosci 120:115–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lardies MA, Fernandez M (2002) Effect of oxygen availability in determining clutch size in Acanthina monodon. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 239:139–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lee K-M, Beal A, Johnston EL (2006) A new predatory flatworm (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida) from Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia. J Nat Hist 39:3987–3995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li D, Jackson RR (2003) A predator’s preference for egg-carrying prey: a novel cost of parental care. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 55:129–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Markman S, Yom-Tov Y, Wright J (1995) Male parental care in the orange-tufted sunbird: Behavioural adjustments in provisioning and nest guarding effort. Anim Behav 50:655–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Merory M, Newman LJ (2005) A new stylochid flatworm (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida) from Victoria, Australia and observations on its biology. J Nat Hist 39:2581–2589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Michiels N (1998) Mating conflicts and sperm competition in simultaneous hermaphrodites. In: Møller A (ed) Sperm competition and sexual selection. Academic Press, London, pp 219–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Michiels N, Newman L (1998) Sex and violence in hermaphrodites. Nature 391:647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Murina GV, Grintsov V, Solonchenko A (1995) Stylochus tauricus, a predator of the barnacle Balanus improvisus in the Black Sea. Hydrobiologia 305:101–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Newman LJ, Cannon LRG (2003) Marine flatworms: the world of polyclads. CSIRO Publishing, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
  30. Pearse AS, Wharton GW (1938) The oyster ‘‘leech’’ Stylochus inimicus Palombi, associated with oysters on the coasts of Florida. Ecol Monogr 8:605–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Prudhoe S (1985) A monograph on polyclad turbellaria. British Museum (Natural History), Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Sagasti A, Schaffner LC, Duffy JE (2000) Epifaunal communities thrive in an estuary with hypoxic episodes. Estuaries 23:474–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schärer L, Joss G, Sandner P (2004) Mating behaviour of the marine turbellarian Macrostomum sp.: these worms suck. Mar Biol 145:373–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schärer L, Sandner P, Michiels N (2005) Trade-off between male and female allocation in the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum sp. J Evol Biol 18:396–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sella G (1991) Evolution of biparental care in the hermaphroditic polychaete worm Ophryotrocha diadema. Evolution 45:63–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sella G, Lorenzini M (2000) Partner fidelity and egg reciprocation in the simultaneously hermaphroditic polychaete worm Ophryotrocha diadema. Behav Ecol 11:260–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Strathmann RR (1985) Feeding and nonfeeding larval development and life-history evolution in marine invertebrates. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 16:339–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Strathmann RR, Strathmann MF (1982) The relationship between adult size and brooding in marine invertebrates. Am Nat 119:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Strathmann RR, Strathmann MF, Emson RH (1984) Does limited brood capacity link adult size, brooding and simultaneous hermaphroditism? A test with the starfish Asterina phylactica. Am Nat 123:796–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Taborsky B, Foerster K (2004) Female mouthbrooders adjust incubation duration to perceived risk of predation. Anim Behav 68:1275–1281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Thiel M (2003) Extended parental care in crustaceans—an update. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 76:205–218Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of EnvironmentGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

Personalised recommendations