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Reproductive isolation between intertidal and subtidal Scoloplos armiger (Polychaeta, Orbiniidae) indicates sibling species in the North Sea
Kruse, I.; Reise, K. (2003). Reproductive isolation between intertidal and subtidal Scoloplos armiger (Polychaeta, Orbiniidae) indicates sibling species in the North Sea. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 143(3): 511-517. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-003-1112-x
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Kruse, I.
  • Reise, K., more

Abstract
    Two distinct modes of development in the common polychaete Scoloplos armiger (O. F. Müller, 1776) occur in the North Sea region: holobenthic development in egg cocoons and pelagic larvae hatching from suspended eggs. In the northern Wadden Sea near the island of Sylt, we observed that egg cocoons are produced intertidally while pelagic larvae originate from the adjacent subtidal zone. A previous genetic comparison between these subtidal and intertidal populations revealed distinct gene pools, suggesting that reproductive differences are not phenotypic but heritable. In this study, crossbreeding experiments show that intertidal and subtidal populations are reproductively isolated. Couples with males and females from different habitats had no offspring. Production of egg cocoons is determined by female origin from the intertidal zone. Pelagic larvae occurred only in couples with subtidal females and subtidal males. Intertidal males have spermatozoa with heads twice as long as those from subtidal males and a significantly shorter flagellum. We suspect that deviating sperm morphology may cause the reproductive breakdown at the fertilization stage. Juveniles hatching from cocoons have shorter anal cirri compared to juveniles that metamorphosed from pelagic larvae. We conclude there to be two sympatric sibling species in S. armiger: 'type I' in intertidal areas, which have egg cocoons, no pelagic larvae, elongated sperm heads, shortened sperm flagella and anal cirri; and a subtidal 'type S', lacking egg cocoons but with pelagic larvae, short sperm heads, long sperm flagella and anal cirri.

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