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Temperature-mediated plasticity and genetic differentiation in egg size and hatching size among populations of Crepidula (Gastropoda: Calyptraeidae)

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Offspring size is a key characteristic in life histories, reflecting maternal investment per offspring and, in marine invertebrates, being linked to mode of development. Few studies have focused explicitly on intraspecific variation and plasticity in developmental characteristics such as egg size and hatching size in marine invertebrates. We measured over 1000 eggs and hatchlings of the marine gastropods Crepidula atrasolea and Crepidula ustulatulina from two sites in Florida. A common-garden experiment showed that egg size and hatching size were larger at 23 °C than at 28 °C in both species. In C. ustulatulina, the species with significant genetic population structure in cytochrome oxidase I (COI), there was a significant effect of population: Eggs and hatchlings from the Atlantic population were smaller than those from the Gulf. The two populations also differed significantly in hatchling shape. Population effects were not significant in C. atrasolea, the species with little genetic population structure in COI, and were apparent through their marginal interaction with temperature. In both species, 60–65% of the variation in egg size and hatching size was a result of variation among females and, in both species, the population from the Atlantic coast showed greater temperature-mediated plasticity than the population from the Gulf. These results demonstrate that genetic differentiation among populations, plastic responses to variation in environmental temperature, and differences between females all contribute significantly to intraspecific variation in egg size and hatching size. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 99, 489–499.
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Keywords: evolution of development; maternal effects; offspring size; phylogeography

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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