Posts tagged: Diana Lancaster

Daniel Painter, ’06, Michael Kopec, ’05, Diana Lancaster, ’06

McCurdy, D. G., Painter, D. C., ’06, Kopec, M. T., ’05, Lancaster, D., ’06, Cook, K. A., & Forbes, M. R. (2008). Reproductive Behavior of Intersexes of an Intertidal Amphipod Corophium Volutator. Invertebrate Biology, 127(4), 417-425.

Abstract: Intersexes are common in crustaceans. Typically, these intersexes are sterile or function as females, but prior evidence from laboratory experiments suggests that intersexes of a key species of gammaridean amphipod, Corophium volutator, might function as males. We observed that intersexes of C. volutator behaved as males by crawling (mate-searching) on a mudflat during ebb tides and pairing in burrows with female amphipods. In the laboratory, intersexes and males did not differ in aspects of crawling such as movement rate and measures of burrow investigation. I`ntersexuality was costly in that intersexes crawled less often than males on a mudflat, formed fewer pairs with females than males, and remained in tandem less often with receptive females than males. The use of PCR-based identification methods failed to identify the presence of transovarial, feminizing, microsporidian parasites as a major cause of intersexuality in this species in that infected females did not produce broods that contained more intersexes than broods produced by uninfected females. Because intersexes may be mistaken as females, the percentage of functional males in amphipod populations may be underestimated: an important consideration given male limitation in populations of C. volutator. The occurrence of intersexes has significant implications for studies on the evolution and ecology of sex ratios, and the use of crustaceans as indicators of environmental quality.

Sean Logan and Diana Lancaster

McCurdy, D. G., Forbes, M. R., Logan, S. P., Lancaster, D., & Mautner, S. I. (2005). Foraging and Impacts by Benthic Fish on the Intertidal Amphipod Corophium Volutator. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 25(4), 558-564.

Abstract: We studied feeding site selection and impacts by benthic fish (flounder and skates) on the amphipod Corophium volutator, an ecologically-important species in muddy intertidal communities. We determined that benthic fish foraged mainly in areas that had high densities of amphipods, on a mudflat in Nova Scotia, Canada. This observation was based on recording sediments displaced by benthic fish in areas where samples of amphipods also were taken. From gut-content analysis, we found that benthic fish fed almost entirely on C. volutator, and most consumed smaller amphipods than expected based on samples of amphipods collected from the substrate. Benthic fish also fed on male amphipods more than expected. We determined that daily foraging pressure by benthic fish on amphipods was low (about 0.3% per day) by measuring the new appearance of feeding traces made by fish. Nonetheless, fish are expected to have substantial impacts on demography of C. volutator due to the length of the fish foraging season and because fish appear to contribute to extreme female-biased sex ratios typically seen in this species.

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