Is annual reproduction in deep-sea echinoderms a response to variability in their environment?

Abstract

The deep-sea environment has traditionally been considered as one of the least variable on the surface of the Earth1–3. However, recent evidence4–6 suggests that there may be a seasonal fluctuation in the physicochemical environment, and there is further evidence7–11 that annual reproductive periodicities may occur among populations of deep-sea invertebrates. We report here evidence for annual periodicities and considerable between-species synchrony in the reproductive cycles of five deep-sea echinoderms, spawning occurring in late winter and early spring. These species also show a similar mode of early development that suggests adaptation to a seasonally varying food supply.

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Tyler, P., Grant, A., Pain, S. et al. Is annual reproduction in deep-sea echinoderms a response to variability in their environment?. Nature 300, 747–750 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1038/300747a0

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