Advertisement

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 17–22 | Cite as

Apparent sibling rivalry in the freshwater fingernail clam Sphaerium striatinum

Original Article

Abstract

In Sphaerium striatinum, a freshwater brooding bivalve, up to 97.5% of offspring that adults initially produce fail to reach independence. Marsupial sacs, specialized extensions of gill filaments that act as nurseries, initially contain multiple offspring in various sizes and stages of development. However, by the time offspring reach later stages of development, marsupial sacs typically contain only one offspring. Brood mortality is hypothesized to be the result of competition among embryos for nutrients and/or space. Sphaeriid eggs do not contain enough yolk for offspring to complete development. Adults supply additional nutrients required to reach independence. Brood capacity is limited by adult size. Adults cannot physically brood all offspring they produce. Here, we examine the validity of the competition hypothesis for brood mortality. We reared offspring, in vitro, through metamorphosis under varying nutrient levels and embryo densities. While hatching success and time to hatching were not influenced by nutrients or density, both factors had significant effects on the percentage of embryos completing metamorphosis and timing of metamorphosis. A higher percentage of offspring completed metamorphosis in higher nutrient levels and lower densities. Offspring reared with higher nutrient levels and lower densities also completed metamorphosis more rapidly. We discuss these results in relation to hypotheses for the overproduction of offspring, sibling rivalries, as well as factors that might explain brood mortality in this species.

Keywords

Bivalves Brooding Brood mortality Sibling rivalry 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Daniel Carson and the Department of Biological Sciences for supporting this research through a small departmental supplementation grant, Cindy Farrach-Carson for the use of laboratory facilities, Melinda Duncan for suggestions on rearing and observing embryos in vitro, Ed Walls and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for allowing us to collect specimens in the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, and Mike Hadfield for aiding us in our identification of embryonic stages. We would also like to thank three anonymous reviewers whose comments greatly improved the theoretical context of this manuscript. Lastly we would like to thank Daniel Hornbach, Gerald Mackie, and William Heard for their helpful suggestions and comments with regard to brood mortality in sphaeriids. All experiments comply with U.S. laws regarding animals.

References

  1. Ahnesjö I (1996) Apparent resource competition among embryos in the brood pouch of a male pipefish. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 38:167–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akin GC (1966) Self-inhibition of growth in Rana pipiens tadpoles. Physiol Zool 39:341–356Google Scholar
  3. Avolizi RJ (1976) Biomass turnover in populations of viviparous sphaeriid clams: comparisons of growth, fecundity, mortality and biomass production. Hydrobiologia 51:163–180Google Scholar
  4. Bayne BL, Salkeld PN, Worral CM (1983) Reproductive effort and value in different populations of the marine mussel, Mytilus edulis L. Oecologia 59:18–26Google Scholar
  5. Beekey MA (2001) Brood reduction: a reproductive strategy of the freshwater clam Sphaerium striatinum. PhD Dissertation, University of Delaware, Newark, De., USAGoogle Scholar
  6. Beekey MA, Hornbach DJ (2004) The effect of size-limited brood capacity on reproductive output in a freshwater bivalve. Am Midl Nat 151:274–285Google Scholar
  7. Beekey MA, Karlson RH (2003) The effect of food availability on zygote production and brood size in a freshwater bivalve. Can J Zool 81:1168–1173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Calow P (1983) Life cycle patterns and evolution. In: Russell-Hunter WD (ed) The mollusca, vol 6: ecology. Academic Press, New York, pp 649–678Google Scholar
  9. Chaparro OR, Oyarzun RF, Vergara AM, Thompson RJ (1999) Energy investment in nurse eggs and egg capsules in Crepidula dilatata Lamarck (Gastropoda, Calyptraeidae) and its influence on the hatching size of the juvenile. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 232:261–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clutton-Brock TH (1991) The evolution of parental care. Princeton University Press, N.J., USAGoogle Scholar
  11. Desbuquois C, Chevalier L, Madec L (2000) Variability of egg cannibalism in the land snail Helix aspersa in relation to the number of eggs available and the presence of soil. J Mollusc Stud 66:273–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Elgar MA, Crespi BJ (1992) In: Elgar MA, Crespi BJ (eds) Cannibalism: ecology and evolution among diverse taxa. Oxford University Press, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  13. Forbes SF (1990) Insurance offspring and the evolution of avian clutch size. J Theor Biol 147:345–359Google Scholar
  14. Forbes SF, Glassey B (2000) Asymmetric sibling rivalry and nestling growth in red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 48:413–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Glazier, DS (2000) Smaller amphipod mothers show stronger trade-offs between offspring size and number. Ecol Lett 3:142–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Groenewegen JAW (1926) Über den Bau und die Entwicklung der Bruttaschen von Sphaerium rivicola LM. Z Morphol Oekol Tiere 5:207–290Google Scholar
  17. Heard WH (1977) Reproduction of fingernail clams (Sphaeriidae: Sphaerium and Musculium). Malacologia 16:421–455Google Scholar
  18. Hornbach DJ, Wissing TE, Burky AJ (1982) Life-history characteristics of a stream population of the freshwater clam Sphaerium striatinum Lamarck (Bivalvia: Pisidiidae). Can J Zool 60: 249–260Google Scholar
  19. Isom BG, Hudson RG (1982) In vitro culturing of parasitic freshwater mussel glochidia. Nautilus 96:147–151Google Scholar
  20. Keller AE, Zam SG (1990) Simplification of in vitro culture techniques for freshwater mussels. Environ Toxicol Chem 9:1291–1296Google Scholar
  21. Kozlowski J, Stearns SC (1989) Hypotheses for the production of excess zygotes: models of bet-hedging and selective abortion. Evolution 43:1369–1377Google Scholar
  22. Lack D (1954) The natural regulation of animal numbers. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Mackie GL (1978) Are sphaeriid clams ovoviviparous or viviparous? Nautilus 92:145–147Google Scholar
  24. Mackie GL, Quadri SU, Reed RM (1978) Significance of litter size in Musculium securis (Bivalvia: Sphaeriidae). Ecology 59:1069–1074Google Scholar
  25. McMahon R (1991) Mollusca: bivalvia. In: Thorp JE, Covich AP (eds) Ecology and classification of North American freshwater invertebrates. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 315–399Google Scholar
  26. Meier-Brook C (1970) Untersuchungen zur Biologie einiger Pisidium-Arten (Mollusca; Eulamellibranchiata; Sphaeriidae). Arch Hydrobiol [Suppl] 38:73–150Google Scholar
  27. Meier-Brook C (1977) Intramarsupial suppression of fetal development in sphaeriid clams. Malacol Rev 10:53–58Google Scholar
  28. Mock DW, Forbes LS (1995) The evolution of parental optimism. Trends Ecol Evol 10:130–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mock DW, Parker GA (1997) The evolution of sibling rivalry. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  30. Nakaoka M (1998) Optimal resource allocation of the marine bivalve Yoldia notobilis: the effects of size-limited reproductive capacity and size-dependent mortality. Evol Ecol 12:347–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Okada K (1935) Some notes on Musculium heterodon (Pilsbry), a freshwater bivalve. II. The gill, the breeding habits, and the marsupial sac. Sci Rep Tohoku Imp Univ 4th Ser Biol 9:375–391Google Scholar
  32. Olsson M, Shine R (1997) The limits to reproductive output: opffspring size versus number in the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis). Am Nat 149:179–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Perrin N (1987) Reproductive allocation and size constraints in the cladoceran Simocephalus vetulus (Muller). Funct Ecol 3:279–283Google Scholar
  34. Raven CP (1958) Morphogenesis: The analysis of molluscan development. Pergamon Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Richards CM (1958) The inhibition of growth in crowded Rana pipiens tadpoles. Physiol Zool 31:138–151Google Scholar
  36. Rose SM (1960) A feedback mechanism of growth control in tadpoles. Ecology 41:188–198Google Scholar
  37. Sebens KP (1987) The ecology of indeterminate growth in animals. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 18:371–407Google Scholar
  38. Shine R (1988) Constraints on reproductive investment: a comparison between aquatic and terrestrial snakes. Evolution 42:17–27Google Scholar
  39. Spight TM (1976) Hatching size and the distribution of nurse eggs among prosobranch embryos. Biol Bull 150:491–499PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Springer S (1948) Oviphagous embryos of the sand shark Carcharias taurus. Copeia 1:430–436Google Scholar
  41. Stearns SC (1987) The selection-arena hypothesis. In: Stearns SC (ed.) The evolution of sex and its consequences. Birkhauser, Basel, pp 337–349Google Scholar
  42. Stearns SC (1992) The evolution of life histories. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  43. Strathmann RR, Strathmann MF (1982) The relationship between adult size and brooding in marine invertebrates. Am Nat 119:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations