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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 489:299-301 (2013)  -  DOI:

Female-biased sex ratios in marine pelagic copepods: Response to Hirst et al. (2013)

Luiz Felipe Mendes Gusmão1,2,*, A. David McKinnon3, Anthony J. Richardson4,5

1Instituto do Mar, UNIFESP, Av. Alm. Saldanha da Gama 89, Santos, SP, CEP 11030-400, Brazil
2Centro de Biologia Marinha (CEBIMar) and Laboratory of Plankton Systems, Universidade de São Paulo, São Sebastião, SP, CEP 11600-000, Brazil
3Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB No 3, Townsville MC, Queensland 4810, Australia
4Centre for Applications in Natural Resource Mathematics, School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia
5Climate Adaptation Flagship, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Ecosciences Precinct, Dutton Park, Queensland 4102, Australia

ABSTRACT: Hirst et al. (2013; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 489:297-298) suggest that Gusmão et al. (2013; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 482:279-298) misinterpreted the findings of Hirst et al. (2010; Limnol Oceanogr 55:2193-2206). They restate that the major factors determining sex ratio in pelagic copepods act upon the adult stage, but they place less emphasis on the idea that predation on male copepods is a likely determinant, and highlight the role of physiological longevity. Here we reconsider the data and confirm our position that at present there is limited evidence to support the theory of male-skewed predation. However, we agree that sex determination is governed by a combination of factors, with the relative emphasis being the main point of contention between the 2 parties.

KEY WORDS: Predation · Sex ratio skew · Physiological longevity · Sex change · Environmental sex determination · Intersexuality

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Cite this article as: Gusmão LFM, McKinnon AD, Richardson AJ (2013) Female-biased sex ratios in marine pelagic copepods: Response to Hirst et al. (2013). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 489:299-301.

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