Netherlands Polar Data Center

Publication - Sympagic occurrence of Eusirid and Lysianassoid amphipods under Antarctic pack ice


During three Antarctic expeditions (2004, ANT XXI-4 and XXII-2; 2006, ANT XXIII-6) with the German research icebreaker R/V Polarstern, six different amphipod species were recorded under the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and the Lazarev Sea. These cruises covered Austral autumn (April), summer (December) and winter (August) situations, respectively. Five of the amphipod species recorded here belong to the family Eusiridae (Eusirus antarcticus, E. laticarpus, E. microps, E. perdentatus and E. tridentatus), while the last belongs to the Lysianassidea, genus Cheirimedon (cf. femoratus). Sampling was performed by a specially designed under-ice trawl in the Lazarev Sea, whereas in the Weddell Sea sampling was done by scuba divers and deployment of baited traps. In the Weddell Sea, individuals of E. antarcticus and E. tridentatus were repeatedly observed in situ during under-ice dives, and single individuals were even found in the infiltration layer. Also in aquarium observations, individuals of E. antarcticus and E. tridentatus attached themselves readily to sea ice. Feeding experiments on E. antarcticus and E. tridentatus indicated a carnivorous diet. Individuals of the Lysianassoid Cheirimedon were only collected in baited traps there. Repeated conventional zooplankton hauls performed in parallel to this study did not record any of these amphipods from the water column. In the Lazarev Sea, E. microps, E. perdentatus and E. laticarpus were regularly found in under-ice trawls. We discuss the origin and possible sympagic life style of these amphipods.




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