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Scaling of fecundity, growth and development in marine planktonic copepods

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We compiled information from the literature on female and egg sizes and maximum egg production, growth and developmental rates in marine planktonic copepods. While specific growth and developmental rates are invariant with body mass, weight- specific fecundity scales with female body mass(-0.26) in both broadcast-spawning and egg-carrying copepods. Egg sizes increase with female size and, consequently, egg production rates (no. of eggs female(-1) d(-1)) are constant with size. Developmental rates were similar among egg-carrying and broadcast-spawning copepods, but the latter grow faster by 30 to 50% and have weight-specific fecundities that are 2.5 times and egg production rates that are 7.5 times those of the former, Nauplii develop faster (by a factor of 2) but grow slower (by 20 to 40%) than copepodites in both spawning types. The main demographic implications of these findings are (1) that mortality is independent of body mass per se, (2) that sec spawners suffer higher overall mortality rates than broadcast spawners and (3) nauplii suffer higher mortality than copepodids.

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