MEPS 377:183-191 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07819

Mating success and its consequences for population growth in an estuarine copepod

Keun-Hyung Choi, Wim Kimmerer*

Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Francisco State University, 3152 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, California 94920, USA
*Corresponding author: Email:

ABSTRACT: We conducted experiments on mating success of the estuarine copepod Eurytemora affinis in the San Francisco Estuary, USA. The experimental approach was to isolate virgin pairs (one male and one female) in containers varying in volume from 0.03 to 32 l for 2, 4, or 8 h. Mating was considered successful if viable eggs were produced by individual females subsequently incubated for up to 5 d. The experimental data were analyzed by fitting a 3-parameter model to the data to determine the volume search rate of males. Mating frequencies indicated a volume search rate for E. affinis males of 7.2 ± 4.0 l h–1 (172 ± 96 l d–1, 95% CL), about 20-fold higher than that for Acartia hudsonica previously determined by a similar method. A simple population model showed that the critical population density needed to maintain the E. affinis population can be well below the seasonally low abundance of this copepod in the San Francisco Estuary. The low critical density may allow population persistence in an estuary without the production of resting eggs.


KEY WORDS: Copepod mating · Allee effects · Population growth · Volume search rate


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Cite this article as: Choi K, Kimmerer W (2009) Mating success and its consequences for population growth in an estuarine copepod. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 377:183-191. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07819

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