Pluri-annual study of the reproduction of two Mediterranean Oscarella species (Porifera, Homoscleromorpha): cycle, sex-ratio, reproductive effort and phenology

Abstract : This study presents the phenology of two common Mediterranean sponges belonging to the genus Osca-rella (Porifera, Homoscleromorpha). Oscarella tuberculata and Oscarella lobularis are two sibling species, dwellers of shallow benthic communities which tend to have distinct ecological behavior, respectively, euryecious and rather stenoecious. The comparative study of their reproductive cycle showed that both Oscarella species have a seasonal reproductive cycle with a successive phase duration differing from one species to another. In both species, there is a continuous oogenesis, with new oocytes appearing in spring, whereas the spermatogenesis generally starts later with the early warming of the sea. The embryonic development and the larval release are restricted to the warmest months of the year. We also observed a shift in the period of gametogenesis and larval emission depending on species and differences in their sensitivity to changes in thermal regime. It appears that an increase in seawater temperature can affect sex determination , with mainly a shift toward males in both species. Their reproductive efforts are variable in time, and can be in some cases influenced by the temperature regime. This is especially the case of O. lobularis which seems to be the most thermosensitive, its phenology responding significantly to changes in thermal regime, whereas O. tuberculata seems to be less sensitive and/or reactive. By detecting phenological changes among sponges, this study demonstrated the relevance of such monitoring to assess the possible biological response to climate change.
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Marine Biology, Springer Verlag, 2013, 160 (2), pp.423-438. 〈10.1007/s00227-012-2100-9〉
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Alexander Ereskovsky, Maude Dubois, Julijana Ivanisevic, Eve Gazave, Pascal Lapébie, et al.. Pluri-annual study of the reproduction of two Mediterranean Oscarella species (Porifera, Homoscleromorpha): cycle, sex-ratio, reproductive effort and phenology. Marine Biology, Springer Verlag, 2013, 160 (2), pp.423-438. 〈10.1007/s00227-012-2100-9〉. 〈hal-01456340〉

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