Standardized sperm area in the lumen of the paired vasa deferentia of Lithodes santolla after the corresponding time periods at 9°C and 12°C from Temperature-dependent seminal recovery in the southern king crab Lithodes santolla

Male-biased fishery management can provoke depletion of seminal reserves, which is the primary cause of sperm limitation. Therefore, identifying factors which contribute to the vulnerability to depletion of seminal reserves is a priority. The present study aimed to determine the effect of temperature on the recovery rate of sperm and seminal reserves after their depletion in Lithodes santolla, an important fishery resource in southern Chile. Sperm and seminal reserves were not fully recovered within 30 days. Temperature significantly affected seminal recovery: after 30 days the recovery index increased to 40% and 21% at 9°C and 12°C, respectively. The twice as fast seminal recovery at 9°C may be explained by the zone of origin of the individuals in this study (northern distributional limit), and 12°C may be close to the threshold of temperature tolerance. Lithodes santolla populations subject to intense male-only fisheries may be vulnerable to depletion of seminal reserves and a climate change scenario could additionally aggravate the risk of seminal depletion in L. santolla in its northern distributional limit.