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Contrasting relationships between pyloric caecum and gonad growth in the starfish Asterias rubens: combined field and experimental approaches

Abstract : The common starfish, Asterias rubens, occurs in fluctuating environments in the North Atlantic. To better understand energy allocation dynamics, we recorded gonad, body wall, and pyloric caeca (storage organ) indices between 2000 and 2004 from three different habitats. We applied a Fourier transform to the data to evaluate and compare the seasonal variation in these indices. Specific effects of emersion and salinity variation were examined in two laboratory studies. Differences in energy allocation were found between sites and temporally within sites. Food availability appeared to be the most important factor controlling allocation dynamics while fluctuating salinity and/or emersion had a significant but smaller impact. Only severe food shortage reduced reproductive investment indicating a preferential energy allocation to gonads. This study is the first to encompass a broad range of populations over several reproduction cycles and emphasizes the ability of A. rubens to adapt to a fluctuating environment.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 18, 2013 - 9:24:03 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 3:39:20 AM

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Guillemette Turquin, Philippe Dubois, Sandra Leyzour, Philippe Pernet, Fjo de Ridder, et al.. Contrasting relationships between pyloric caecum and gonad growth in the starfish Asterias rubens: combined field and experimental approaches. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2013, 93 (4), pp.1073-1086. ⟨10.1017/S0025315412000124⟩. ⟨hal-00789331⟩

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