Population dynamics of Triops cancriformis (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Notostraca) of the Espolla temporary pond in the northeastern Iberian peninsula
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The population dynamics of Triops cancriformis in Espolla temporary pond (NE Iberian peninsula) were studied during 1996 and 1997, which encompassed six flooded periods. Data were collected on each individual's size, sex, and, if female, on number of eggs in the oostegopodes. Male-biased sex ratios were found only in the drying-out phase and variations in fecundity were strongly related to hydroperiod duration. Sex ratio variation during the drying-out phase can be attributed to female mortality because the very low recruitment observed does not support the hypothesis of an increase of males. Two hypotheses are advanced to account for female mortality: (1) differential reproductive effort, and (2) size selective predation by herons. This population is characterised by low values of maximum densities compared with other notostracan populations, and by higher densities in the spring–summer hydroperiods than in the winter ones.
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