A review of male mating success in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, in reference to the potential for fisheries-induced sperm limitation
Author: Jivoff, Paul
Source: Bulletin of Marine Science, Volume 72, Number 2, March 2003 , pp. 273-286(14)
Abstract:This paper reviews information learned on reproduction and mating system structure of the blue crab since the last Blue Crab Symposium in relation to the potential for fisheries-induced effects on reproduction. Male size influences male mating success through its effect on male-male interactions, and the investments males make in the duration of mate guarding and the amount of ejaculate they pass to females. As compared with small males, large males are more often paired with larger females, win at aggressive interactions with rivals, guard longer, store more ejaculate contents before and after copulation, and pass larger ejaculates to females. The time a male spends guarding influences the female's survival, his access to her and, combined with his ejaculate output, to her unfertilized eggs. Mate guarding time and ejaculate size increase at high male : female ratios but ejaculate size decreases when males mate frequently, with short inter-mating intervals. Intense, size-biased fishing on males may alter the male size structure and sex ratio of local populations. These changes increase mating opportunities for small males and reduce the advantages to males of providing long periods of mate guarding and large ejaculates to females, thereby creating conditions that diminish the amount of ejaculate females receive. Female blue crabs use stored sperm to fertilize their lifetime production of eggs, and reduced amounts of stored sperm may limit the total number of eggs they produce.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2003
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