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Adaptive spatial utilization of host mussels by the Japanese rosy bitterling Rhodeus ocellatus kurumeus

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The spatial pattern of resource utilization for oviposition in the Japanese rosy bitterling Rhodeus ocellatus kurumeus was investigated in two field experiments. The distribution of rosy bitterling eggs deposited in the four demibranchs of the gills of the test mussel species, Anodonta woodiana, differed with mussel reproductive state in pair spawnings, but not in group spawnings. In pair spawnings, female rosy bitterling may have had more time to select the site of oviposition in the gill in relation to the sex and reproductive state of the mussel, thereby maximizing embryo survival. Thus, the inner gill of female mussels may have been selected in preference to the outer gills to avoid mortalities of eggs due to the presence of the mussel's own embryos (glochidia) in the outer gill chambers. In male mussels, female rosy bitterling distributed their eggs equally among all parts of the mussel gill, thereby minimizing density-dependent mortality of embryos. During group spawnings, however, female rosy bitterling may have been more constrained in their decision making, ovipositing in the inner gills irrespective of mussel sex.
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Keywords: density-dependent mortality; freshwater mussel; glochidia; host choice; oviposition

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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