Vol. 39 No. 3, 2000
Stress and Deviant Reproduction in Echinoderms
John M. Lawrence1,* and Joan Herrera2
1Department of Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620, USA
2Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
John M. Lawrence and Joan Herrera (2000)
Normal reproductive characteristics in echinoderms include non-maternal
nutrition with a planktonic feeding developmental stage, sexual
reproduction with gonochorism, seasonal reproduction, and no protection
of young by secondary metabolites. Deviant reproductive characteristics
include maternal nutrition of the developmental stage that may be
planktonic, demersal, or brooded; hermaphroditic sexual reproduction;
intermittent or continuous low-level reproduction; protection of young
by secondary metabolites; and asexual reproduction. We tested the
hypothesis that stress, which causes a decrease in capacity for
production, was a factor responsible for deviant reproductive
characteristics by comparing taxa from the subphylum to species levels.
In the examples used, deviant reproduction occurred in the taxa for
which stress could be predicted. Although other factors undoubtably
affect reproductive characteristics, the analysis indicates that stress
must be considered an important one.
Key words: Echinoderms, Stress, Reproduction, Life-history.
*Correspondence: Tel: 1-813-9742549. Fax: 1-813-9743263. E-mail: lawr@chuma. cas.usf.edu