Life history traits of the invasive estuarine shrimp Palaemon macrodactylus (Caridea: Palaemonidae) in a marine environment (Mar del Plata, Argentina)
- MG Vázquez, CC Bas, ED Spivak
The magnitude of variations in reproductive traits of Palaemon macrodactylus females throughout a breeding season was studied in a non-native population at Mar del Plata harbor, Argentina. Fecundity, egg size, reproductive output, weight and elemental composition of eggs, and larvae were analyzed in females collected at the beginning, in the mid point, and near the end of a reproductive season and designated as early, middle season, and late females. The highest reproductive output was observed in early females, while the highest fecundity and egg volume occurred in middle season females. Eggs and larvae showed larger body mass in early than in late females. Embryos from early females contained and consumed more carbon during development than embryos from late females, and they also used part of the available nitrogen. Differences in reproduction were observed among the three groups of females. On the one hand, late females matured early but had a poor first reproduction, with few embryos and high egg loss; however, they had longer reproductive life and an enhanced reproductive output in the following season when they became early females. On the other hand, females collected at the midpoint in the reproductive season matured later and had the highest fecundity and egg volume. In addition, larvae with different characteristics resulted from each type of female and were presumably well adapted to the conditions prevailing at the moment they hatched. The extended reproductive period and the diversity of embryos and larvae produced may favor the invading ability of the species.