Seasonal effects on egg production and level of paternity in a natural population of a simultaneous hermaphrodite snail

Janssen, Ruben and Baur, Bruno. (2015) Seasonal effects on egg production and level of paternity in a natural population of a simultaneous hermaphrodite snail. Ecology and evolution, 5 (14). pp. 2916-2928.

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In a seasonal environment, the suitable time window for females to reproduce is restricted by both environmental conditions and the availability of males. In simultaneous hermaphrodites, which are female and male at the same time, selection on a trait that is solely beneficial for one sexual function cannot occur independently. Therefore, it is assumed that the optimal time window for reproduction is a compromise between the two sexual functions in simultaneous hermaphrodites, mediated by environmental conditions. We examined seasonal patterns of reproduction and the resulting paternity in a natural population of the simultaneously hermaphroditic land snail Arianta arbustorum. Adult and premature individuals (snails in a short protandric phase) were collected on four occasions over the entire active season. The snails were allowed to deposit eggs after which we assessed the level of paternity in their hatched offspring. Individuals mated throughout the reproductive season, whereas egg production – the major task of the female function – was restricted to the first half of the season. Snails collected in autumn were allowed to hibernate under laboratory conditions. As a result, we found that premature individuals began to mate late in the reproductive season, but did not start to produce eggs before emerging from hibernation. Our results demonstrate a temporal shift of reproductive activities; the egg production and oviposition occur mainly in the first half of the season, while sperm production and mating occur over the entire season. In subadult and adult snails, sperm obtained from several partners in the second part of the reproductive season are stored during hibernation for the fertilization of eggs in the successive years. These results extend our understanding of the influence of both natural and sexual selection on reproductive strategies in hermaphrodites.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Baur, Bruno and Janssen, Ruben
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:13 Sep 2016 06:42
Deposited On:13 Sep 2016 06:42

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