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Journal Article

Sexual reproduction in Daphnia: interspecific differences in a hybrid species complex


Spaak,  Piet
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Spaak, P. (1995). Sexual reproduction in Daphnia: interspecific differences in a hybrid species complex. Oecologia, 104(4), 501-507.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-E2EF-A
To investigate whether reproductive variation in the Daphnia galeata-cucullata-hyalina hybrid species complex can explain the occurrence of hybrids and backcrosses, a total of 43 clones from three north German lakes were tested for allocation to sexual reproduction under equal stress conditions. Six replicates per clone were followed until the seventh adult instar. I used the following cues to promote sexual reproduction: short photoperiod, water from a crowded Daphnia culture, fish-conditioned water and low food concentration. For each animal, clutch size and clutch sex were recorded. Ephippia, which were empty since the animals were cultured individually, were only produced by D. cucullata and D. cucullata x hyalina (26% and 6% of the broods, respectively), whereas almost all taxa produced males (the range was 2-15%). Intraspecific variation for male and ephippial production was also found. The fact that the taxa tested show different responses to the stimuli offered may indicate that there is reproductive isolation between them. This is supported by field data from the Tjeukemeer (The Netherlands) which shows that D. galeata mostly produces ephippia in spring and D. cucullata in autumn. The presence of hybrids with ephippia in both seasons, however, shows that backcrossing is also possible