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Timing of larval release in the porcelain crab, Petrolisthes cinctipes (Decapoda, Anomura), in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia

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Several species of invertebrates time the release of larvae with environmental conditions such as oceanographic conditions or the stage of tidal, lunar, or diurnal cycles. The timing of larval release in Petrolisthes cinctipes was estimated based on changes in the proportion of crabs with eggs and the status of eggs over the summer months at three sites in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Canada. A drop in the proportion of crabs with eggs nearly ready to hatch was observed in early July, coincident with the new moon and large amplitude nocturnal ebbing tides. Water temperature and chlorophyll a concentration for the surrounding waters were also recorded throughout the field season but no link between oceanographic conditions and timing of larval release was observed. Further study is required to determine if this species is releasing larvae synchronously timed with the tidal/lunar cycles. Plusieurs espèces d'invertébrés adaptent la libération de leurs larves aux conditions environnementales telles que les conditions océanographiques ou l'état de la marée, les cycles lunaires ou diurnes. Le moment du relargage des larves chez Petrolisthes cinctipes a été estimé à partir des variations des pourcentages de crabes avec œufs et l'état des œufs au cours des mois d'été dans trois sites du détroit de Clayoquot, en Colombie britannique, Canada. Une chute dans le pourcentage de crabes avec œufs presque prêts à éclore a été observée au début juillet, coïncidant avec la nouvelle lune et avec une grande amplitude nocturne de la marée descendante. La température de l'eau et la concentration en chlorophylle a des eaux environnantes ont également été mesurées durant toute la saison d'étude mais aucune relation n'a été observée entre les conditions océanographiques et le "timing" de libération des larves. Une étude ultérieure est nécessaire pour déterminer si cette espèce relâche ses larves de façon synchrone avec les cycles de la lune et des marées.


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