Gregariousness and protandry promote reproductive insurance in the invasive gastropod Crepidula fornicata: evidence from assignment of larval paternity

Abstract : According to the size-advantage hypothesis, protandric sequential hermaphroditism is expected when the increase in reproductive success with age or size is small for males but large for females. Interestingly, some protandrous molluscs have developed gregarious strategies that might enhance male reproductive success but at the cost of intraspecific competition. The gastropod Crepidula fornicata, a European invading species, is ideal for investigating mating patterns in a sequential hermaphrodite in relation to grouping behaviour because individuals of different size (age) live in perennial stacks, fertilization is internal and embryos are brooded. Paternity analyses were undertaken in stacks sampled in three close and recently invaded sites in Brittany, France. Paternity assignment of 239 larvae, sampled from a set of 18 brooding females and carried out using five microsatellite loci, revealed that 92% of the crosses occurred between individuals located in the same stack. These stacks thus function as independent mating groups in which individuals may reproduce consecutively as male and female over a short time period, a pattern explained by sperm storage capacity. Gregariousness and sex reversal are promoting reproductive insurance in this species. In addition, females are usually fertilized by several males (78% of the broods were multiply sired) occupying any position within the stack, a result reinforcing the hypothesis of sperm competition. Our study pointed out that mating behaviours and patterns of gender allocation varied in concert across sites suggesting that multiple paternities might enhance sex reversal depending on sperm competition intensity.
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Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2006, 15 (10), pp.3009-3021. 〈10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.02988.x〉
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http://hal.univ-brest.fr/hal-00455434
Contributeur : Ivo Grigorov <>
Soumis le : mercredi 10 février 2010 - 14:17:42
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:22:24

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L. Dupont, Joëlle Richard, Yves-Marie Paulet, Gérard Thouzeau, Frédérique Viard. Gregariousness and protandry promote reproductive insurance in the invasive gastropod Crepidula fornicata: evidence from assignment of larval paternity. Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2006, 15 (10), pp.3009-3021. 〈10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.02988.x〉. 〈hal-00455434〉

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