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Temperature-induced oviposition in the brachyuran crab Cancer setosus along a latitudinal cline: Aquaria experiments and analysis of field-data

By Sönke Fischer and Sven Thatje

Abstract

Ovigerous females of Cancer setosus are present year-round throughout most of its wide range along the Peruvian/Chilean Pacific coast (2°S–46°S). However, their number of egg-masses produced per year remains speculative and as such has neither been considered in latitudinal comparisons of reproduction, nor for its fisheries management. In order to reveal the effect of temperature on egg-mass production and egg development, female C. setosus were held in through-flow aquaria under natural seasonal temperature conditions (16–23 °C) in Antofagasta (23°S), Northern Chile (05/2005–03/2006; 10 months), and at three constant temperatures (12, 16, 19 °C) in Puerto Montt (41°S), Central Southern Chile (09/2006–02/2007; 5 months). Female crabs uniformly produced up to 3 viable egg-masses within 4 1/2 months in Antofagasta and in Puerto Montt (at 19 °C). The second egg-mass was observed 62.5 days (±7.6; N=7) after the oviposition of the first clutch and a third egg-mass followed 73.5 days (±12.5; N=11) later in Antofagasta (at 16–23 °C). Comparably, a second oviposition took place 64.4 days (±9.8, N=5) after the first clutch and a third, 67.0 days (±2.8, N=2), thereafter, at 19 °C in Puerto Montt. At the two lower temperatures (16 and 12 °C) in Puerto Montt a second egg-mass was extruded after 82.8 days (±28.9; N=4) and 137 days (N=1), respectively. The duration of eggdevelopment from oviposition until larval hatching decreased from 65 days at 12.5 °C to 22.7 days at the observed upper temperature threshold of 22 °C. Based on the derived relationship between temperature and the duration of egg-development (y=239.3175e? 0.107x; N=21, r2=0.83) and data on monthly percentages of ovigerous females from field studies, the annual number of egg-masses of C. setosus was calculated. This analysis revealed an annual output of about one egg-mass close to the species northern and southern distributional limits in Casma (9°S) and Ancud (43°S), respectively, while at Coquimbo (29°S) about two and in Concepción (36°S) more than 3 egg-masses are produced per year

Topics: QH301
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:50589
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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