Sex ratios, intersexuality and sex change in copepods

Gusmão, Luiz Felipe Mendes, and McKinnon, A. David (2009) Sex ratios, intersexuality and sex change in copepods. Journal of Plankton Research, 31 (9). pp. 1101-1117.

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Abstract

Female-biased adult sex ratios are common in copepod species, and have been observed both in wild populations and in cultures. Biased sex ratios are most commonly explained by sex- or stagespecific differences in longevity or mortality. However, neither differential longevity nor differential mortality fully explains skewed sex ratios in planktonic copepod populations. We propose that sex change is an important mechanism determining the adult sex ratio. Though sex change has been proposed for only a few copepod species, intersexuality is widespread. We review the occurrence and causation of intersexuality in planktonic copepods, which is a manifestation of late sex change during development. By way of example, we demonstrate that skewed sex ratios of Acrocalanus gracilis, a common tropical paracalanid copepod, could be explained by sex change alone. Our observations suggest that sex determination in copepods is under strong environmental control, and we argue that the food limitation is an important determinant of sex change.

Item ID: 5508
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: marine biology, marine ecology, evolutionary biology, intersexuality, sex change, sex ratio, development, environmental sex determination
ISSN: 1464-3774
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2009 23:40
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 34%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 33%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 34%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 19
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