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|Title:||Effects of competition on sexual and clonal reproduction of a tunicate: the importance of competitor identity|
|Author:||Dias, Gustavo Muniz|
Delboni, Cynthia Grazielle Martins
Duarte, Luiz Francisco Lembo
|Abstract:||Individual fitness and the structure of marine communities are strongly affected by spatial competition. Among the most common space holders are the colonial ascidians, which have the ability to monopolize large areas of hard substrate, overgrowing most other competitors. The effects of competition on colony growth and on gonad production of the ascidian Didemnum perlucidum were studied in southeastern Brazil by experimentally removing surrounding competitors. Colonies of D, perlucidum competing for space exhibited a growth rate 9 times less than that of colonies that were competitor free. Among the colonies subject to competition, growth rates were unrelated to the percentage of colony border that was free of competitors. However, the identity of the competitor was important in the outcome of border contacts. At the beginning of the experiment, most border encounters of D. perlucidum were with solitary organisms, which in most cases were overgrown. These were progressively replaced by colonial ascidians and bryozoans, resulting mostly in stand-off interactions. Besides reducing asexual growth, spatial competition also affected female gonad production. Colonies free of competitors had a significantly higher proportion of zooids with ovaries. Thus, our findings show that spatial competition reduces both ascidian colony size and gonad production|
|Appears in Collections:||IB - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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