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Free Content The effects of intra-specific density and food supply on growth and reproduction in an infaunal polychaete, Polydora ligni Webster

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In two laboratory experiments decreasing food supply and increasing intra-specific density generally had negative effects on growth and reproduction in the spionid polychaete Polydora ligni. These included longer maturation times at smaller worm size, longer times to deposition of the first brood of eggs and inter-brood period, and decreases in the number of gametogenic segments, egg capsules and fecundity. The number of eggs deposited per capsule was not affected by the treatments. Analysis of field data indicated a significant negative correlation between intra-specific density and fecundity, suggesting that the laboratory results reflect field conditions. Populations of opportunistic infauna, like Polydora ligni. may undergo periods of density-dependent population regulation, and their life histories may be shaped via density-dependent as well as density-independent selective pressures.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1986-05-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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