Review of Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae.
"Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae" (EEMIL) is dedicated to the memory of larval biologist Larry McEdward by the editors, two of McEdward's former Ph.D. students and the Ph.D. student of one of them. These editors credit McEdward--a brilliant scientist and teacher, and always good company to those of us fortunate to have known him--with producing the first "conceptual framework of larval ecology as a field." This attribution led me to return to the predecessor volume published in 1995, "Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae," edited by McEdward. In the preface to that volume, McEdward wrote, "The most profound change has occurred within the last ten to fifteen years, with the first generation of biologists specifically trained to study larval ecology and complex marine life cycles." And, "... this book is told from the perspective of the first generation of larval specialists." Thus, EEMIL is the second volume to give short shrift to the original pioneers who gave us our first understanding of both the developmental and ecological importance of marine invertebrate larvae between 1930 and 1970--e.g., H. Barnes, B. L. Bayne, N.J. Berrill, W. R. Coe, D.J. Crisp, C. Crave, J. S. Cray, G. Jagersten, E. W. knightjones, M. V. Lebour, V. Loosanoff, W. F. Lynch, E. W. McBride, S. A. Mileikovsky, T. Morlensen. J. S. Ryland, R. S. Scheltema, G. Thorson and D. P. Wilson--and a "second tier" of researchers whose first publications began in the early 1970s, including F.-S. Chia, R. Cloney, D. L. Holland, M. E. Rice, R. Strathmann, R. Vance and S. A. Woodin, to name only a few. Many of these pioneers were cited in the 13 chapters thai made up the McEdwards treatise, and those chapters have served as source material for students new to the study of marine invertebrate larvae for the last 23 years. EEMIL succeeds the McEdwards volume by adding a word, "Evolutionary," to the title, a different publisher, and 30 new authors. Only four authors overlap between the two volumes.
The editors of EEMIL envision it as an, "... update to many of the original thirteen chapters [in the McEdward volume], while also reviewing several branches of larval ecology and evolution that have developed since." EEMIL contains of Hi substantive chapters, plus a final chapter on "models" that reviews the sixteen preceding chapters. EEMIL addresses a broad spectrum of approaches to looking at marine invertebrate larvae or examining data about larvae. To be certain, these are all reviews, not contributions of new information. Rather, topics addressed in McEdwards (1995) and many other reviews are analyzed anew, only occasionally yielding new insights. The book is divided into four sections: Evolutionary Origins and Transitions in Developmental Mode; Functional Morphology and Ecology of Larval Forms; Larval Transport, Settlement and Metamorphosis; and. Larval Ecology at the Extremes. Each section includes three to five chapters written by different authors. Within this framework, the classical questions of larval biology are addressed, some of them several times, e.g., the dichotomy of feeding vs. non-feeding development; modes and mechanisms of larval feeding; physiology of larval feeding/nutrition; phenotypic plasticity of feeding structures; larval transport and gene flow and how to best study them; larval sensory biology and its role in settlement; dispersal in the shallows and the deep sea. There are also the important and expected timely chapters dealing with the impacts of climate change and pollutants on larvae and their development, and, finally, a chapter on the way current studies of genomes, proteomes and the various other "-omes" can contribute to a better understanding of many aspects of larval biology.
For this reviewer, a major lacuna in the coverage of EEMIL is in-depth treatment of larval settlement and metamorphosis. Two chapters include these terms in their tides, but focus on narrower aspects of the field, leaving readers without new insights as to why larvae settle where they do, nor into what settlement and metamorphosis actually entail in the lives and futures of individual larvae. But, I am admittedly biased in this regard. Ultimately, people seeking to broaden their understanding of marine invertebrate larvae in life cycles and in the sea will find in this book a rich resource.
The contributions to EEMIL are mostly well written (although the book could have benefitted from a close reading by an experienced copy editor), up to date and authoritative. The book should be added to the libraries of scientists studying many different aspects of the biology of marine invertebrate larvae.
Most biologists will be unlikely to read the book from cover to cover, but will draw on it often to clarify major questions and approaches and for references. We can hope that students of development, genetics and physiology will not be dissuaded by "ecology" in the book's title, as it is surely more than an ecological text. Its goal is to review a broad scope of topics relating to the biology of marine invertebrate larvae, and in this it succeeds very well.
MICHAEL G. HADFIELD, Professor of Biology Emeritus and Research Professor, Kewalo Marine Laboratory, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii and Manoa, 41 Ahui St. Hononolulu, HI 96813
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|Author:||Hadfield, Michael G.|
|Publication:||The American Midland Naturalist|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2018|
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