Edmondson’s egg ratio (number of amictic eggs per female) is an important life history variable, which has been in wide use to understand and predict patterns of population growth in planktonic rotifers under field conditions. It is also useful as an indicator of the health of rotifers under culture conditions. Generally, an inverse relationship exists between the egg ratio and the density of females in a population. A number of abiotic and biotic factors influence the egg ratio. For example, temperature can cause marked changes in the egg ratio by influencing the frequency of egg production and the hatching times of parthenogenetic eggs. Also, preferential feeding on ovigerous females of rotifers by invertebrate predators such as Asplanchna will lower the egg ratios of the population. The easy detachment of eggs, as may be the case in some members of the Brachionidae especially during enhanced reproduction when food levels are high, may also cause an underestimation of the egg ratio. In this review, we discuss the egg ratio of selected rotifer species in relation to the role of diel changes in egg production, the frequency or the intensity of feeding, the problems of distinguishing between different egg types and the negative effect of stressors such as toxicants and diet quality. [KEYWORDS: egg ratio ; Rotifera ; culture conditions ; fecundity]
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2005

ID: 217081