|Effects of density and simulated recruitment and mortality on sex change in a protandric simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni|Zhang, D.; Lin, J. (2007). Effects of density and simulated recruitment and mortality on sex change in a protandric simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 150(4): 639-645. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0381-6
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
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Sex change in many hermaphrodite animals has been suggested to be environmentally determined, especially socially. To investigate whether sex change in the protandric simultaneous hermaphrodite shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes 1850) is socially mediated, two experiments were conducted in the laboratory between September 2002 and April 2004 using laboratory-cultured shrimp that originated from Port Aransas, Texas, USA. The size at sex change (from male to simultaneous hermaphrodite) in this shrimp is variable, with the minimum around 2.4 cm in total length (TL). Large shrimp (2.4–4.5 cm TL) still in the male-phase (MP) have been found in the wild and laboratory environments. This study tested the hypothesis that large MP shrimp delay changing to the euhermaphrodite-phase (EP) due to social control. In the first experiment, ten shrimp were raised in large (110-l) and small (20-l) containers to test the effect of habitat size/density on sex change. The percentage of shrimp changing to EP was significantly higher in the large container (low density) than in the small container after 60 and 120 days. But after 570 days sex ratios were the same, 2 MP:8 EP. In the second experiment, group composition was changed over time to simulate population recruitment and mortality. MP shrimp delayed sex change when EP shrimp were present. However, if group structure is stable, some MP shrimp may not change sex during their lifetime. Under certain demographic conditions, such as when postlarvae (PL) were added to (simulating recruitment) or EP shrimp were removed from (simulating mortality) a group, all old MP (from original PL) shrimp changed to EP. The response of old MP shrimp to simulated recruitment is faster than to simulated mortality. The present study confirms that social control affects the size and timing of sex change in L. wurdemanni. However, some MP shrimp never change sex suggesting that genetics might also play a role in the sex ratios of L. wurdemanni populations.