Life-history variation was studied in three sympatric species of Stylopoma Levinsen [S. spongites (Pallas), S. projecta Canu and Bassler and Stylopoma n. sp. 15] in Panama. Bryozoan colonies were collected from 27 reefs along 300 km of the Caribbean coast of Panama. The distribution and abundance of each species were very patchy, but with broad overlap in occurrence among localities and depths. Nevertheless, species differed considerably in colony size, size at first reproduction and numbers of brooding larvae; implying that interspecific differences in life-history traits may contribute to their coexistence. To examine closely this variation in life-history patterns, we grew, in a common garden experiment, the offspring of the two most common species that were obtained from parent colonies collected from several reefs. There were highly significant differences in growth rates and the timing and extent of sexual reproduction which corresponded well to patterns observed in individuals from the field. Other factors, including size of larvae, extent of secondary zooidal calcification and numbers of avicularia were also correlated with differences in life histories. Despite this additional complexity, however, ecological consequences of trade-offs in life history among modular species such as Stylopoma spp. appear very similar to those among unitary species.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
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Herrera, A., Hughes, D., Jackson, J. B. C., Jara, J., & Ramos, J. (1996). Life-history variation in three coexisting cheilostome bryozoan species of the genus Stylopoma in Panama. MAR BIOL, 126(3), 461-469.