MEPS 296:251-262 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps296251

Effects of male mating frequency and male size on ejaculate size and reproductive success of female spiny king crab Paralithodes brevipes

Taku Sato1,*, Masakazu Ashidate2,3, Satoshi Wada1,4, Seiji Goshima1

1Laboratory of Marine Biodiversity, Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan
2IAA, FRA, National Center for Stock Enhancement, Akkeshi Station, 2–1 Tsukushikoi, Akkeshi, Hokkaido 088-1160, Japan
3Present address: Incorporated Administrative Agency, Fisheries Research Agency, National Center for Stock Enhancement,Tamano Station, Chikkou, Tamano, Okayama 706-0002, Japan
4Present address: Laboratory of Invertebrate Biology, Usa Marine Biological Institute, Kochi University, Usa, Tosa,Kochi 781-1164, Japan

ABSTRACT: Potential sperm limitation in a fished population of the spiny king crab Paralithodes brevipes was investigated in controlled laboratory experimental and field studies. The laboratory experiments examined the effects of male size and mating frequency on their reproductive potential and the recovery rate of exhausted sperm. The spawning success and fertilization rate of females decreased as the male mating frequency increased. The effects of increased male mating frequency on the spawning success of females and fertilization rates differed between male size classes. Male size and mating frequency have great influences on sperm limitation. Males showed little capacity to regenerate sperm, increasing the likelihood of limited sperm supply to females in fished population with low numbers of males due to male-selective fishing regulations. The field studies examined the structure of a fished population of P. brevipes in Hamanaka, eastern Hokkaido, before and after a change in the fishery regulations that permitted smaller males to be harvested. The results showed that a change in the sex ratio occurred after the fishery regulations were introduced, skewing the population towards females. The results also showed a decrease in the mean male size in the fished population. The results also indicated that a significant percentage of males (42.2%) had depleted sperm reserves just after the reproductive season. Overall, the results indicate that sperm limitation could occur in this fished population of P. brevipes. These observations may warrant a review of the current fishing regulations, particularly the minimum legal size.


KEY WORDS: Sperm limitation · Male mating frequency · Male size · Reproductive potential · Recovery rate


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