Patterns in the abundance, phenology, and hatching of the resting egg stage of the invasive zooplankter Bythotrephes longimanus: Implications for establishment

Meghan E. Brown, Donn K. Branstrator

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


To examine how dormancy contributes to the establishment and persistence of Bythotrephes longimanus, we investigated resting egg production and hatching in relation to the demography of the planktonic stage and environmental conditions in Island Lake Reservoir (USA). During a 3-year study, the largest contribution to the egg bank occurred in autumn and most eggs hatched in spring, but we also detected some resting egg production and hatching in summer. The difference between summer and late autumn densities of eggs in sediments averaged 47% (range 0-98%) for 18 sites throughout the reservoir, which was similar to experimental estimates of in situ hatching fraction of 67% for eggs in the spring and summer following their production. Based on emergence traps, neonates hatch in the field during May and June. We estimated mortality rates of 64% for resting eggs and embryos, and 59% for newly emerged neonates. Although hatching fraction saturated at the same level, eggs incubated offshore hatched later than those nearshore where water temperature was warmer and light was detectable at the sediment surface. Low dissolved oxygen concentration did not significantly reduce hatching fraction but resulted in some eggs that initiated development but failed to hatch. Collectively, our results demonstrate substantial annual turnover in the resting egg bank of B. longimanus and high mortality of resting eggs during recruitment from the egg to the first molt of the planktonic stage. These patterns suggest that propagule pressure in the form of resting eggs requires large numbers for establishment, and that considerable post-establishment resting egg production is necessary for inter-annual persistence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2547-2559
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank M. Kitson and D. Brown for field assistance, and Supratranai ‘‘Nong’’ Nopakun for his skilled SCUBA work. This work was supported in part by funds awarded to D. Branstrator from the University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid program. In addition, this work is the result of research sponsored by the Minnesota Sea Grant

Funding Information:
College Program supported by the NOAA office of Sea Grant, United States Department of Commerce, under grant No. NA16-RG1046. The US Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for government purposes, not withstanding any copyright notation that may appear hereon. This paper is journal reprint No. 576 of the Minnesota Sea Grant College Program.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bythotrephes
  • Dormancy
  • Hatching experiments
  • Resting eggs


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns in the abundance, phenology, and hatching of the resting egg stage of the invasive zooplankter Bythotrephes longimanus: Implications for establishment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this