Marine Biology

, 163:2 | Cite as

Reproductive strategies and energy sources fuelling reproductive growth in a protracted spawner

  • T. MendoEmail author
  • J. M. Semmens
  • J. M. Lyle
  • S. R. Tracey
  • N. Moltschaniwskyj
Original paper


Most marine invertebrates experience variable environments and for broadcast spawners, fertilisation success increases with greater synchronisation of spawning, so a capital breeding strategy is predicted. However, this prediction should be tested for species with protracted breeding seasons, since it is not clear how reproduction is fuelled over several consecutive months of spawning. The simultaneous hermaphrodite scallop Pecten fumatus was used to test the hypothesis that protracted spawning is supported by both capital and income strategies, depending on the state of energy reserves and food availability at the time of oocyte maturation. The study was carried out in Great Bay, Tasmania, Australia (147.335W, 43.220S) in 2010/2011. The use of glycogen, protein and lipid in the muscle, gonad, and digestive gland was examined, along with the role of atretic eggs as an alternative energy source for oogenesis and maturation. The reproductive stage of an individual was determined using only the ovaries. P. fumatus uses a capital breeding strategy early in the reproductive cycle during winter and spring (August–October) with muscle glycogen and protein and digestive gland lipid providing energy for oogenesis. Given there was no evidence of energy stores being used later in the reproductive cycle in late spring and summer (November–March), when less food was available for direct fuelling of reproduction, it appears that metabolites produced from oocyte lysis may have fuelled oogenesis. Recycling of energy from oocyte resorption must be considered as part of the strategy of energy use to fuel reproduction in marine invertebrates.


Shell Length Digestive Gland Reproductive Stage Mature Oocyte Gonad Mass 
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.



The study was conducted under the Authority of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) permit No. 10028. We thank Julian Harrington, Amelia Fowles, Luis Henriquez, and Jaime McAllister for helping with the collection of samples in the field. Help with laboratory analyses was provided by Cedric Simon, Bryan Choa, Baseer Codabaccus, Daniela Farias, and Mana Inoue. We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript. This study was supported by funding to JMS by the Australian Government’s Fisheries Research Development Corporation (Project No. 2008/022); JMS and TM by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Fishwise Community Grant; and TM by an Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (EIPRS). We also wish to thank Nick Jones and Lara Marcus for comments and valuable suggestions on early drafts of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Mendo
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. M. Semmens
    • 1
  • J. M. Lyle
    • 1
  • S. R. Tracey
    • 1
  • N. Moltschaniwskyj
    • 2
  1. 1.Fisheries and Aquaculture Centre, Institute for Marine and Antarctic StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Life SciencesUniversity of NewcastleOurimbahAustralia

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