The European margin has given rise to a series of sampling programmes that have provided an insight into the reproductive biology of deep-sea species. From these observations it is apparent that no one reproductive pattern dominates. The observed life history pattern is a function of phylogenetic constraint, whilst the timing of reproduction in some species is determined by the local input of surface-derived material. Little is known of the larvae of deep-water species from any depth. A few larval types have been described, but we know little of the larval ecology. Experimental analysis of larval development has shown that embryos of certain taxa have wider temperature/pressure tolerances than the adult and, as a result, may allow a mechanism by which shallow-water species could invade the deep-sea. It is imperative that there is a better understanding of reproductive processes because anthropogenic impacts may have sub-lethal effects on the benthos by disrupting those processes without killing the adult. We need to understand the natural processes of reproduction in the deep-sea so that the effects of man on this environment can be modelled and predicted.
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- Larval and Reproductive Strategies on European Continental Margins
P. A. Tyler
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg