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Journal Article

The fine art of surfacing: Its efficacy in broadcast spawning


Molacek,  J.
Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Molacek, J., Denny, M., & Bush, J. W. M. (2012). The fine art of surfacing: Its efficacy in broadcast spawning. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 294, 40-47. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.10.013.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-5074-F
Many organisms reproduce by releasing gametes into the surrounding fluid. For some such broadcast spawners, gametes are positively or negatively buoyant, and, as a result, fertilization occurs on a two-dimensional surface rather than in the bulk of the air or water. We here rationalize this behaviour by considering the encounter rates of gametes on the surface and in the fluid bulk. The advantage of surfacing is quantified by considering an infinitely wide body of water of constant depth. Differential loss rates at the surface and in the bulk are considered and their influence on the robustness of surface search assessed. For small and moderate differential loss rates, the advantage of surfacing is very robust and significant; only for large loss rate differences can the advantage of surfacing be nullified.