Ctenophore population recruits entirely through larval reproduction in the central Baltic Sea

Cornelia Jaspers, Matilda Haraldsson, Sören Bolte, Thorsten B.H. Reusch, Uffe Høgsbro Thygesen, Thomas Kiørboe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Featured as research highlight in Nature. The comb jelly Mertensia ovum, widely distributed in Arctic regions, has recently been discovered in the northern Baltic Sea. We show that M. ovum also exists in the central Baltic but that the population consists solely of small-sized larvae (less than 1.6 mm). Despite the absence of adults, eggs were abundant. Experiments revealed that the larvae were reproductively active. Egg production and anticipated mortality rates suggest a self-sustaining population. This is the first account of a ctenophore population entirely recruiting through larval reproduction (paedogenesis). We hypothesize that early reproduction is favoured over growth to compensate for high predation pressure

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiology Letters
Volume8
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)809-812
ISSN1744-9561
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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