Timing variations and effects of size on the reproductive output of the wedge clam Donax trunculus (L. 1758) in the littoral of Huelva (SW Spain)
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KeywordsDonax trunculus, size at first maturity, gonadal occupation index, partial fecundity, Huelva
This study aimed to augment existing knowledge of the reproductive characteristics of Donax trunculus through analysis of timing variations and the influence of shell size on partial fecundity (PF) during the reproductive period. To achieve this objective, two reproductive timing characteristics were also studied: size at first maturity (SL50) and the reproductive cycle using histology and image analysis techniques. SL50 was 10.83 mm for females and 10.86 for males. Donax trunculus showed a continuous and simultaneous release of gametes and high oocyte regeneration ability during the reproductive period (from February to July). These reproductive characteristics impeded the estimation of total fecundity. However, throughout the reproductive period an increasing pattern of PF was observed followed by a significant drop at the end of the same period, which could be quantified (293,390 of vitellogenic and ripe oocytes). At the same time PF quantifications allowed for predicting and estimating ...
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