Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 8, pp 1585–1593 | Cite as

Locomotion versus spawning: escape responses during and after spawning in the scallop Argopecten purpuratus

  • Hernan Mauricio PérezEmail author
  • Katherina B. Brokordt
  • Gloria Martínez
  • Helga Guderley
Original Paper


The energetic cost of spawning and the endogenous factors that modulate spawning could modify escape response performance, leading to a conflict between the requirements of two fundamental components of fitness: reproduction and survival. We examined whether spawning changed force production during escape responses by the functionally hermaphroditic scallop, Argopecten purpuratus, and whether the response of smooth (tonic) and striated (phasic) muscles differed. Force production during escape responses by mature scallops was compared before induction of spawning, during spawning and after completion of spawning. Maximum tonic force and the area under the force curve (total force recorded) were diminished during gamete release, whereas phasic force production (maximum and mean force) increased after spawning was completed. The number and frequency of phasic contractions did not change during the spawning process, suggesting that spawning did not limit fuel availability for phasic contractions. The decrease in tonic force during spawning and the increased phasic force production after spawning may reflect changes in monoamine levels during gamete release. Whereas the spawning process modified force production during escape responses, the changes would, if anything, enhance escape performance during an initial encounter between a scallop and a predatory sea star.


Force Production Escape Response Swimming Performance Phasic Contraction Tonic Contraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by funds from the RAQ and NSERC to HG and from FONDECYT 3020034 to KB. HPC was a recipient of a scholarship from the Organization of American States. The authors are extremely grateful to the staff of the “Laboratorio central de cultivos marinos” from Universidad Católica del Norte, and in particular to Carlos Solar, for facilitating our work. The technical assistance of Raul Vera, Miguel Rivera and Javier Rojas was highly appreciated. The experiments comply with the current laws of the countries in which the experiments were performed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hernan Mauricio Pérez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katherina B. Brokordt
    • 2
  • Gloria Martínez
    • 3
  • Helga Guderley
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de BiologieUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones (CEAZA), Facultad de Ciencias del MarUniversidad Católica del NorteCoquimboChile
  3. 3.Departamento de Biología MarinaUniversidad Católica del NorteCoquimboChile

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