Reproductive strategies and energy sources fuelling reproductive growth in a protracted spawner

T. Mendo*, J. M. Semmens, J. M. Lyle, S. R. Tracey, N. Moltschaniwskyj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Most marine invertebrates experience variable environments and for broadcast spawners, fertilisation success increases with greater synchronisation of spawning, so a capital breeding strategy is predicted. However, this prediction should be tested for species with protracted breeding seasons, since it is not clear how reproduction is fuelled over several consecutive months of spawning. The simultaneous hermaphrodite scallop Pecten fumatus was used to test the hypothesis that protracted spawning is supported by both capital and income strategies, depending on the state of energy reserves and food availability at the time of oocyte maturation. The study was carried out in Great Bay, Tasmania, Australia (147.335W, 43.220S) in 2010/2011. The use of glycogen, protein and lipid in the muscle, gonad, and digestive gland was examined, along with the role of atretic eggs as an alternative energy source for oogenesis and maturation. The reproductive stage of an individual was determined using only the ovaries. P. fumatus uses a capital breeding strategy early in the reproductive cycle during winter and spring (August–October) with muscle glycogen and protein and digestive gland lipid providing energy for oogenesis. Given there was no evidence of energy stores being used later in the reproductive cycle in late spring and summer (November–March), when less food was available for direct fuelling of reproduction, it appears that metabolites produced from oocyte lysis may have fuelled oogenesis. Recycling of energy from oocyte resorption must be considered as part of the strategy of energy use to fuel reproduction in marine invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalMarine Biology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2016


  • Shell length
  • Digestive gland
  • Reproductive stage
  • Mature oocyte
  • Gonad mass


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