Induction and Ecological Significance of Gigantism in the Rotifer Asplanchna sieboldi

Science  06 Jul 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4094, pp. 63-66
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4094.63


Dietary α-tocopherol and cannibalism together induce the giant, campanulate morphotype. Campanulates, unlike the two smaller female morphotypes, do not respond to α-tocopherol by forming male-producing offspring. Campanulate production probably is very significant ecologically, allowing a rapid, adaptive response to increased prey size and a rapid reproductive rate uninter-rupted by sexuality and consequent dormancy.