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Temporal shifts in the allocation of energy in the arrow squid, Nototodarus gouldi: sex-specific responses
McGrath Steer, B.L.; Jackson, G.D. (2004). Temporal shifts in the allocation of energy in the arrow squid, Nototodarus gouldi: sex-specific responses. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 144(6): 1141-1149.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • McGrath Steer, B.L.
  • Jackson, G.D.

    Squid typically display considerable intra-specific plasticity in size and age-at-maturity in response to ambient environmental conditions, yet little is known of the mechanisms driving these variations. We examined the intra-specific variability in Nototodarus gouldi reproductive traits to determine patterns of energy allocation between somatic and reproductive processes over short temporal scales. Females caught during the cool months of May and July were larger, had slower lifetime growth, lower gonad investment, and better somatic condition than females caught during the warmer months, suggesting a trade-off between gonad investment and somatic condition in females. On the other hand, males showed a tight coupling between somatic condition and gonad investment for most months, with increases in somatic and gonad tissue occurring concurrently. In male squid, an increase in lifetime growth rate was coupled with an increase in the relative weights of somatic and reproductive structures, whereas in females, percent increase in body weight per day was correlated only with gonad development. Patterns of repro-somatic investment in mature females had implications for spawning strategies, since female squid with higher levels of gonad investment apparently released batches of eggs together as a group, regardless of body size, whereas females with low gonad investment possibly spawned their eggs independently of one another. In terms of life-history theory, male squid were able to respond rapidly to environmental fluctuations without compromising either the gonad or the soma. However, although mature females did not appear to respond as quickly to ambient conditions, female squid possibly produced two different reproductive strategies, possibly to maximise offspring survival in either a stable or a variable environment. It seems from our study that monthly variations in ambient conditions may have large effects on life-history strategies.

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