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Title: Sex and success : factors influencing survival and reproduction in amphipod crustaceans
Author: Arundell, Katherine Louise
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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In this thesis I use four amphipod host-parasite systems to investigate factors influencing survival, behaviour and reproduction. In Chapter 2, I identify a newly observed trophically-transmitted parasite, Podocotyle atomon, and assess its impact on the survival and reproduction of its intermediate host Gammarus zaddachi. I observed high prevalence in the field, but found an overall low impact of infection on behaviour and reproductive success, in contrast to similar host: parasite systems. In Chapter 3, I investigate the significance of the carotenoid colouration of the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis, infecting Gammarus pulex, in trophic parasite transmission. My results regarding the role of the colouration in transmission proved inconclusive; however, I show th,at the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculateus utilises both visual and olfactory cues to detect amphipod prey. In Chapter 4, I assess the impact of predator cues and infection by vertically transmitted microsporidian parasites on brooding success and brood-care behaviour in two species of amphipod. I found no effect of parasite infection on brooding; however, predator cues were found to influence the characteristic ventilation behaviours of Crangonyx pseudogracilis, suggesting that observed levels of brood-care are a trade-off between maximising ventilation of embryos and minimising predation risk. In Chapter 5, I investigate the relationships between fluctuating asymmetry (FA), parasite infection and fecundity in two gamma rid host: parasite systems. I found no relationship between FA and egg or sperm numbers; however parasite infection by both horizontally and vertically transmitted parasites was associated with increased levels of FA. Finally, in Chapter 6, I investigate the scope for ejaculate tailoring in response to risk and intensity of sperm competition in Gammarus duebeni. I report a decrease in sperm numbers and length in response to increased numbers of rivals and suggest that gammarid investment in mate-guarding negates the risk of sperm competition for this species.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available