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The three members of the Montastraea annularis complex (M. annularis, M. franksi, and M. faveolata) are dominant reef builders in the western Atlantic whose species status has been controversial for over a decade. Although differences in colony morphology and reproductive characteristics exist, interspecific fertilizations are possible in the laboratory and(More)
abstract: Life-history models for marine invertebrate larvae generally predict a dichotomy in egg size in different species: eggs should be either minimal in size or large enough to support development fully without larval feeding. This prediction is contradicted, however, by the empirical observation of wide, continuous variation in egg size between these(More)
Sperm limitation may be an important selective force influencing gamete traits such as egg size. The relatively inexpensive extracellular structures surrounding many marine invertebrate eggs might serve to enhance collision rates without the added cost of increasing the egg cell. However, despite decades of research, the effects of extracellular structures(More)
The theoretical prediction that fast sperm should be more effective at fertilizing eggs has never been documented empirically. Interspecific comparisons suggest an inverse relationship between sperm velocity and sperm longevity but this trade-off has never been demonstrated within a species. Here I investigate how sperm velocity and sperm longevity(More)
Few data are available on the effectiveness of reproductive isolating mechanisms in externally fertilizing taxa. I investigated patterns of conspecific and heterospecific fertilization among three coexisting sea urchin species, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, S.franciscanus, and S. purpuratus. In the laboratory, both among and within species, eggs from(More)
Gamete production and fertilization influence zygote production. While gamete production is correlated positively with body size, individual fertilization success may be a function of population density. Usually it is assumed that when high population density leads to reduced body size and gamete production, per capita zygote production is diminished. This(More)
Ecologists have long studied the effect of predators on prey population abundance while evolutionary biologists have measured prey trait evolution in response to predation. Ecological and evolutionary processes were generally thought to occur on different time scales, but recent evidence suggests that evolution may alter the ecological effects of predation(More)
Organisms with external fertilization are often sperm limited, and in echinoids, larger eggs have a higher probability of fertilization than smaller eggs. This difference is thought to be a result of the more frequent sperm-egg collisions experienced by larger targets. Here we report how two components of egg target size, the egg cell and jelly coat,(More)