Resting egg production as a life history strategy of marine planktonic copepods

  • Uye S
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During the last decade, evidence of resting egg production by marine planktonic copepods has increased and provided a reasonable explanation as a mechanism by which a species repopulate regions after its disappearance from the plankton. So far, resting eggs have been found for 24 temperate coastal species belonging to Temoridae, Centropagidae, Pontellidae, Acartiidae and Tortanidae. Two types of resting eggs can be defined by the nature of hatching under various environmental conditions, i.e., diapause and quiescent eggs. Production of the former eggs has been confirmed for seven species. For three representative species (Tortanus jorcipatus, Labidocera aestiva and Acartia clausi), the seasonal life history is reviewed in relation to environmental variables. Acartia clausi (a. omorii) produces either type of resting eggs depending on its geographical distribution, which suggests that the remote populations are genetically differentiated. Strategic values of copepod resting eggs in the seasonal population biology are discussed.

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  • Shin-ichi Uye

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