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1 December 2004 EGG SIZE EVOLUTION IN TROPICAL AMERICAN ARCID BIVALVES: THE COMPARATIVE METHOD AND THE FOSSIL RECORD
Amy L. Moran
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Abstract

Marine organisms exhibit a wide range of egg sizes, even among closely related taxa, and egg size is widely considered to be one of the most important components of the life histories of marine species. The nature of the trade-off between egg size and number and the consequences of variation in egg size for offspring growth and survivorship have been extensively modeled. Yet, there is little empirical evidence that supports the relative importance of particular environmental parameters in engendering the tremendous variation in egg size seen in marine organisms. This study compares egg sizes between six geminate species pairs of bivalves in the family Arcidae to determine whether egg size differs in predictable directions between geminate species in the two oceans separated by the Central American isthmus, and whether the direction and timing of egg size evolution among geminates in this family is correlated with both modern and paleoceanographic patterns of oceanic productivity. In all modern members of six geminate pairs, egg size was larger in the species in the western Atlantic than in its sister species the eastern Pacific. This pattern supports the hypothesis that optimal egg size differs in the two oceans due to the low productivity and poor larval feeding environment in the western Atlantic relative to the eastern Pacific. The fossil record of one geminate pair shows that egg size has remained consistently large in the western Atlantic from the Miocene to the Recent, while egg size in the eastern Pacific has decreased to the current small size in less than 2 million years; this suggests that modern-day differences between egg sizes in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific are due to either an increase in productivity in the eastern Pacific and subsequent selection for smaller eggs in that ocean, or differential patterns of extinction that occurred well after the rise of the isthmus. These results agree with ancestral character state reconstruction using linear parsimony, but differ from squared-change parsimony reconstructions.

Amy L. Moran "EGG SIZE EVOLUTION IN TROPICAL AMERICAN ARCID BIVALVES: THE COMPARATIVE METHOD AND THE FOSSIL RECORD," Evolution 58(12), 2718-2733, (1 December 2004). https://doi.org/10.1554/04-142
Received: 4 March 2004; Accepted: 15 September 2004; Published: 1 December 2004
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KEYWORDS
Ancestral character state reconstruction
Isthmus of Panama
larval development
life-history evolution
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