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Reproductive trade-offs of the estuarine copepod Eurytemora affinis under different thermal and haline regimes

Abstract : Copepod females invest a quantity of resources in their reproduction. Depending on several biotic and abiotic factors and their evolutionary history a trade-off can be commonly observed between producing a large number of smaller offspring or a small number of larger offspring. In this study, a multi-generational approach was applied to determine whether a trade-off between clutch size and egg size existed in the copepod Eurytemora affinis under different controlled conditions of temperature and salinity. This protocol was based on the follow-up of reproductive (Clutch Size `CS', Egg Diameter `ED') and morphological (Prosome Length `PL') traits during several generations. Copepods were acclimated to cold (7 °C) and warm (20 °C) temperatures, and then their reproductive output was tested at the higher temperature of 24 °C. CS and ED were positively correlated to PL, so as a first step linear regressions between each reproductive trait and female PL were performed. The residuals from the regression lines of CS and ED with PL were calculated to remove the effect of female size. When the normalized data (residuals) of CS and ED plotted together a negative relationship between egg size and egg number revealed the existence of a trade-off. Copepod populations initially acclimated to cold temperature are commonly characterized by relatively smaller CS and larger ED. Conversely, warm temperature adapted females produced relatively larger CS and smaller ED. After transfer to a temperature of 24 °C, the ED did not change but the CS showed high variability indicating stressful conditions and no trade-off was observed. These observations suggest that E. affinis is able to modulate its reproduction depending on the encountered temperature. It seems that this copepod species can shift between a K- and an r-strategy in response to colder or warmer conditions. In a late winter-early spring like cold temperature, copepod females seem to invest more on offspring quality by producing relatively larger eggs. This ecological strategy ensures a high recruitment of the spring generation that is responsible for the strength of the maximum population size usually observed in late spring-early summer (May-June). To the contrary, at summer-like temperature, where the population density decreases significantly in the Seine estuary, copepod females seem to switch from K to r strategy by favoring offspring number compared to offspring size. Finally, the use of a higher temperature of 24 °C seems to disrupt the observed reproductive trade-off even after several generations. These results suggest that a switching between K- or r-strategy of E. affinis depends highly on temperature effects. The effect of salinity increase during a summer-like temperature of 20 °C as well as after transfer to 24 °C decreased PL and CS but the ED did not change significantly.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03664862
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 1:17:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 13, 2022 - 11:25:51 AM

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Anissa Souissi, Jiang-Shiou Hwang, Sami Souissi. Reproductive trade-offs of the estuarine copepod Eurytemora affinis under different thermal and haline regimes. Scientific Reports, 2021, 11, ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-99703-0⟩. ⟨insu-03664862⟩

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