Growth and reproductive cycles of the marine fouling ascidians Ciona intestinalis, Styela plicata, Botrylloides violaceus, and Leptoclinum mitsukurii at Aburatsubo-Moroiso Inlet (central Japan)

Abstract

Experimental cultivations of post-metamorphosis juveniles were repeated in different seasons for Ciona intestinalis (L.) and Styela plicata (Lesueur) (simple ascidians) as well as for Leptolinum mitsukurii (Oka) and Botrylloides violaceus Oka (compound ascidians) at Aburatsubo-Moroiso Inlet near Misaki Biological Station (Japan). Growth in body length of simple ascidians was exponential during juvenile development up to near sexual maturity. C. intestinalis grew to sexual maturity in 1 month in summer and in 2 months in winter; S. plicata, in 2 months in summer and in nearly 5 months in winter. The doubling time decreased approximately twofold in the two simple ascidians with a 10C° increase in environmental temperature. Growth of colonies in compound ascidians was exponential after maturation of the first functional zooids. Sexual reproduction of L. mitsukurii and B. violaceus was continuous throughout the year, forming many generations in a year. Doubling time of colony growth in the two compound ascidians decreased approximately threefold with a 10C° increase in temperature.

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Communicated by O. Kinne, Hamburg

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Yamaguchi, M. Growth and reproductive cycles of the marine fouling ascidians Ciona intestinalis, Styela plicata, Botrylloides violaceus, and Leptoclinum mitsukurii at Aburatsubo-Moroiso Inlet (central Japan). Marine Biology 29, 253–259 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391851

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Keywords

  • Japan
  • Body Length
  • Doubling Time
  • Sexual Reproduction
  • Environmental Temperature