McEdward, L. R. University of Florida, mcedward@zoo.ufl.edu
, . R. ,

 
SIMULATION MODELS OF LARVAL PLANKTOTROPHY IN MARINE INVERTEBRATES
 
Simulation models incorporating developmental stage-specific feeding capability were used to examine the effect of fluctuating food availability on the expected duration of the planktonic larval period and the number of offspring that survive to metamorphosis in marine invertebrates with planktotrophic larvae. Food concentrations were allowed to fluctuate randomly on a daily basis between specified upper and lower bounds. Variation in food levels generally had a much stronger effect on development time and metamorphosis when the level of parental investment was low (small egg strategies). With facultative feeding by planktotrophic larvae, there were intermediate egg sizes above which variation in food level had only negligible effects on development and survival. These models show that reproductive success can be maximized at intermediate levels of investment per offspring between the minimum for development and the threshold for lecithotrophy, depending on the amount of food available to larvae and the intensity of planktonic mortality. Models incorporating fluctuating food availability and facultative larval feeding predict the existence of a continuum of larval strategies, under a wide range of conditions and suggest a feasible route for the evolutionary transition between planktotrophy and lecithotrophy.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 09:00 - 09:15am
Location: Eldorado Hotel
 
Code: SS26TH0900E