Observations on the ecology and reproductive biology of the sipunculan worm Aspidosiphon muelleri in temperate waters

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Title: Observations on the ecology and reproductive biology of the sipunculan worm Aspidosiphon muelleri in temperate waters
Authors: Ferrero-Vicente, Luis Miguel | Marco-Méndez, Candela | Loya-Fernández, Angel | Sánchez-Lizaso, José Luis
Research Group/s: Biología Marina | Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada
Keywords: Sipuncula | Reproduction | Mediterranean Sea | Gametocytes | Aspidosiphon muelleri | Epilepton clarkiae
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: 23-Jun-2014
Publisher: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Citation: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 2014, 94(8): 1629-1638. doi:10.1017/S0025315414000812
Abstract: A population of the sipunculan worm Aspidosiphon muelleri, located in temperate waters of the western Mediterranean Sea, was monitored monthly for a year. Some aspects related to its ecology and reproductive biology are shown in the present work. The sex-ratio for this population was close to 1:1 (54% females vs 46% males), thus indicating a dioecious reproduction, although showing a lack of sexual dimorphism. Oocytes were detected in females from 4–5 mm; this size might be reached by A. muelleri in a few months. The population density increased notably during the summer (June–August). The spawning event date was indirectly estimated from the average size of the oocytes and the percentage of females with free oocytes in the coelom. Both variables were significantly correlated to shallow water temperature (Pearson correlation; P = 0.003 and P = 0.001, respectively). Oocyte size was also significantly correlated to average irradiance level (Pearson correlation; P = 0.044). Spawning took place between August and September (when the water temperature is getting close to its annual maximum) and may last only a few weeks in these temperate waters. The abundance of A. muelleri decreased drastically in September, likely as a consequence of the spawning event effort. Bivalves of the species Epilepton clarkiae were collected together with specimens of A. muelleri living inside the polychaete tubes used as shelters by the sipunculans, with a prevalence of 11.64%. To a lesser extent some Foraminifera were also reported attached to the body of the sipunculans.
Sponsor: This research was funded by ‘Mancomunidad Canales del Taibilla’.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/38455
ISSN: 0025-3154 (Print) | 1469-7769 (Online)
DOI: 10.1017/S0025315414000812
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2014
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315414000812
Appears in Collections:INV - Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible - Artículos de Revistas
INV - BM - Artículos Científicos / Scientific Papers

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