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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 401:1-13 (2010)  -  DOI:

Gender-specific ageing and non-Mendelian inheritance of oxidative damage in marine copepods

Laura Rodríguez-Graña1,2,*, Danilo Calliari1,2, Peter Tiselius1, Benni Winding Hansen3, Helen Nilsson Sköld1

1Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg, Kristineberg 566, SE 450-34, Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
2Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Iguá 4225, CP 11400, Montevideo, Uruguay
3Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Universitetsvej 1, Box 260, Building 16.1, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark

ABSTRACT: Ageing in the marine pelagic copepod Acartia tonsa results in decreased feeding and production rates associated with an increase in the accumulation of protein oxidative damage, as predicted by the oxidative stress hypothesis. In laboratory experiments, we estimated sex-specific ageing effects on feeding and oxidative damage and on egg production rates of adult females. We also determined maternal effects on offspring by measuring egg hatching success and oxidative damage of nauplii from mothers of different ages. Males manifested more oxidative damage with age than females, providing an alternative explanation for the shorter life span in males. Older females produced fewer offspring, and nauplii with higher protein oxidative damage, than younger females. This study forms an empirical basis to link ageing, life span, sex differences and maternal fitness in animals that also reflects natural copepod population dynamics. Individual ageing processes and the resulting age structure in the population modulate mortality risk, parental effects on offspring performance, reproductive investment, and pelagic energy fluxes.

KEY WORDS: Ingestion rate · Fertility pattern · Maternal effect · Oxidative damage · Acartia tonsa

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Cite this article as: Rodríguez-Graña L, Calliari D, Tiselius P, Hansen BW, Sköld HN (2010) Gender-specific ageing and non-Mendelian inheritance of oxidative damage in marine copepods. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 401:1-13.

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