August 1, 2013.
Despite Botrylloides violaceous being a globally invasive species in temperate marine habitats, little is known about it’s natural dispersal behavior. Previous work (Delton et al, 2011) suggests behavioral inferences based on a related and much more commonly studied species may not be appropriate, potentially due to a large size difference between the non-feeding larvae of these two species. Here, we consider factors that may affect dispersal potential. To study how light affects larval release, we measured timing of larval release in the field and compared larval size and time of release. Colonies were collected from floating docks in Richmond, CA and placed into flow-through acrylic boxes to trap released larvae. Larvae were counted every half hour from morning to mid-day and then brought to the lab for measurement. In contrast to other tunicate species that release closer to sunrise (4), this species on average released more offspring later in the morning. In addition, larval size showed an increasing trend later in the morning. Larger larvae are likely to have more energy reserves that may allow greater dispersal potential and thus a daily difference within colonies in dispersal potential of sibling progeny may occur. This may have implications for population patterns of relatedness, a key feature in the smaller relative that is commonly used as a kin selection model system
Animal Sciences | Aquaculture and Fisheries | Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Life Sciences | Zoology
C. Sarah Cohen
Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC)
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).