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Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 93, pp. 52865290, May 1996
 

Summary: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
Vol. 93, pp. 5286­5290, May 1996
Ecology
Successful external fertilization in turbulent environments
(Fucales gamete release reproductive ecology spawning water motion)
ESTER A. SERR~AO*, GARETH PEARSON*, LENA KAUTSKY§, AND SUSAN H. BRAWLEY*
*Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, University of Maine, 5722 Deering Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5722; and §Department of Botany, Stockholm
University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Communicated by Robert T. Paine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, January 26, 1996 (received for review October 20, 1995)
ABSTRACT Mathematical and experimental simulations
predict that external fertilization is unsuccessful in habitats
characterized by high water motion. A key assumption of such
predictions is that gametes are released in hydrodynamic
regimes that quickly dilute gametes. We used fucoid seaweeds
to examine whether marine organisms in intertidal and
subtidal habitats might achieve high levels of fertilization by
restricting their release of gametes to calm intervals. Fucus
vesiculosus L. (Baltic Sea) released high numbers of gametes
only when maximal water velocities were below ca. 0.2 m s
immediately prior to natural periods of release, which occur

  

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

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine