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Fitness components of seasonal reproduction: An analysis using Nereis virens as a life history model

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Peter Olive, Dr Ceri Lewis


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The reproductive cycles of the majority of marine invertebrates are strongly seasonal with highly synchronised patterns of spawning. It has become accepted that a distinction can be made between proximate factors and ultimate factors in the causation of seasonal reproduction. We briefly review these concepts and the hypotheses that have been developed about the nature of the ultimate factors that cause the fitness benefit and that 'explain' the adaptive significance of seasonal reproduction. We use a model based on the life history of the polychaete Nereis virens and demonstrate that seasonal reproduction may have impacts on adult components of fitness (i.e. reproductive value at age of first maturity), as well as on fertilisation rate and survival to age at first maturity. The results are discussed in the context of the programme PNDR and the related UK Natural Environment Research Council thematic programme 'Developmental Physiology of Marine Organisms' (NERC-DEMA). (C) 2000 Ifremer/CNRS/IRD/Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Olive PJW, Lewis C, Beardall V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Oceanologica Acta

Year: 2000

Volume: 23

Issue: 4

Pages: 377-389

ISSN (print): 0399-1784

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: E D P Sciences


DOI: 10.1016/S0399-1784(00)00135-3


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