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Fertilization Strategies Ester A. Serro and Jon Havenhand

Summary: Chapter 10
Fertilization Strategies
Ester A. Serrão and Jon Havenhand
10.1 Introduction
For marine species that live attached to hard substrata, fertilization of their gametes
can present particular problems. Internal fertilizers must settle densely enough to
ensure future insemination. Their risk is largely binary: proximity of conspecifics
usually guarantees reproductive success, whereas isolation implies reproductive
. However, for the vast majority of species that broadcast gametes to the
water column, fertilization success is a far more continuous, and haphazard, varia-
ble: although fertilization success can often be close to 100%, many factors cause
fertilization success to fall below the potential maximum, and sometimes to zero.
The fertilization imperative creates substantial selective pressure to overcome these
constraints on fertilization success. This chapter will review the data, the leading
hypotheses, and the controversies in this topic, focusing on unresolved issues and
future directions.
Ecological and evolutionary studies of fertilization on rocky shores were pio-
neered by Sparck (1927) and Mortensen (1938), both of whom suggested that
external fertilization success may be low due to gamete dilution. Subsequently,


Source: Alberto, Filipe - Centro de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade do Algarve


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine