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Reproduction and life-cycle of the beachflea (Orchestia gammarellus (Pallas) (Crustacea: Amphipoda) at thermal and non-thermal sites in the intertidal of Iceland: how important is temperature?
Ingólfsson, A.; Olafsson, O.P.; Morritt, D. (2007). Reproduction and life-cycle of the beachflea (Orchestia gammarellus (Pallas) (Crustacea: Amphipoda) at thermal and non-thermal sites in the intertidal of Iceland: how important is temperature? Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 150: 1333-1343. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0457-3
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ingólfsson, A.
  • Olafsson, O.P.
  • Morritt, D.

Abstract
    The littoral fringe beachflea Orchestia gammarellus (Pallas) is a seasonal breeder over much of its range. Previous studies indicated that temperature was the most important factor initiating breeding while photoperiod appeared inconsequential. We tested the effect of temperature by comparing two populations at non-thermal sites with two populations at thermal sites in Iceland. At the non-thermal sites the species is probably close to its lower temperature tolerance limits, while potentially able to choose optimal temperatures at all times of the year at the thermal sites. The species was a seasonal breeder at all sites, but the breeding season started 2–3 months earlier at thermal sites. Breeding ended at about the same time at all sites. We conclude that photoperiod probably governs breeding season under constant thermal conditions, and this is also supported by observations on laboratory stocks. At the thermal sites the animals became sexually mature in a year or less, as is the case where the species has been studied at lower latitudes, while at the non-thermal sites Icelandic animals, apparently uniquely, need 2 years to become sexually mature.

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