Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Deep-water shrimps, distributed on the steep outer reef slopes of tropical Pacific Islands, were obtained by setting baited traps in depths down to 850 m in the vicinity of Laucala Bay, Fiji, over the period 1979 to 1983. Life-history variables were estimated and interspecific comparisons made between Parapandalus serratifrons, Plesionika longirostris, Heterocarpus ensifer, H. gibbosus, H. sibogae, H. laevigatus (Pandalidae) and Saron marmoratus (Hippolytidae) which have different depth distributions. Results suggested that, interspecifically, reproductive lifespan tended to increase with increasing depth of distribution and that mean egg sizes of each species increased with increasing depth. Brood sizes tended to increase inconsistently with depth, although relative brood size (number of eggs per “standar” 15 g individual) appeared unrelated to depth. Although annual reproductive effort varied inconsistently with depth, reproductive effort totalled over the lifespan of the Heterocarpus species tended to increase with increasing depth. Some of the findings are counter to competition-based ecological theory, and it is proposed that adult predation decreases with increasing depth, allowing deeper-water species to have an extended lifespan, an increased degree of iteroparity, and a corresponding increase in lifetime reproductive effort. Further, we suggest that the probabilities of larval survival, which appear to decrease with increasing depth, are offset by the production of larger eggs by deeper-water species.
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