Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 3, pp 609–623 | Cite as

The tunicate Salpa thompsoni ecology in the Southern Ocean. I. Distribution, biomass, demography and feeding ecophysiology

  • E. A. Pakhomov
  • C. D. Dubischar
  • V. Strass
  • M. Brichta
  • U. V. Bathmann
Research Article

Abstract

Distribution, density, and feeding dynamics of the pelagic tunicate Salpa thompsoni have been investigated during the expedition ANTARKTIS XVIII/5b to the Eastern Bellingshausen Sea on board RV Polarstern in April 2001. This expedition was the German contribution to the field campaign of the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics Study (SO-GLOBEC). Salps were found at 31% of all RMT-8 and Bongo stations. Their densities in the RMT-8 samples were low and did not exceed 4.8 ind m−2 and 7.4 mg C m−2. However, maximum salp densities sampled with the Bongo net reached 56 ind m−2 and 341 mg C m−2. A bimodal salp length frequency distribution was recorded over the shelf, and suggested two recent budding events. This was also confirmed by the developmental stage composition of solitary forms. Ingestion rates of aggregate forms increased from 2.8 to 13.9 μg (pig) ind−1 day−1 or from 0.25 to 2.38 mg C ind−1 day−1 in salps from 10 to 40 mm oral-atrial length, accounting for 25–75% of body carbon per day. Faecal pellet production rates were on average 0.08 pellet ind−1 h−1 with a pronounced diel pattern. Daily individual egestion rates in 13 and 30 mm aggregates ranged from 0.6 to 4.8 μg (pig) day−1 or from 164 to 239 μg C day−1. Assimilation efficiency ranged from 73 to 90% and from 65 to 76% in 13 and 30 mm aggregates, respectively. S. thompsoni exhibited similar ingestion and egestion rates previously estimated for low Antarctic (~50°S) habitats. It has been suggested that the salp population was able to develop in the Eastern Bellingshausen Sea due to an intrusion into the area of the warm Upper Circumpolar Deep Water

Keywords

Particulate Organic Carbon Faecal Pellet Antarctic Krill Pigment Ratio Solitary Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the University of Fort Hare (South Africa), the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany) and the University of British Columbia (Canada) for providing funds and facilities, which allowed conducting and completing this study. The professional and friendly support at sea by colleagues, the Captain and the crew of the RV Polarstern during the ANTATKTIS XVIII/5b cruise is greatly appreciated. B. Cisewski, H. Borth, B. Rabe, K. Rinas and C. Radke contributed to collecting the CTD data.

References

  1. Andersen V (1986) Effect of temperature on the filtration rate and percentage of assimilation of Salpa fusiformis Cuvier (Tunicata: Thaliacea). Hydrobiologia 137:135–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkinson A, Siegel V, Pakhomov EA, Rothery P (2004) Long-term decline in krill stock and increase in salps within the Southern Ocean. Nature 432:100–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baars MA, Helling GR (1985) Methodological problems in the measurements of phytoplankton ingestion rate by gut fluorescence. Hydrobiol Bull 19:81–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bathmann U (ed) (2002) The expedition ANTARKTIS XVIII/5b of the research vessel “Polarstern” in 2001. Berichte Polar Meeresforsch 407:1–98Google Scholar
  5. Bathmann U, Fischer G, Müller PJ, Gerdes D (1991) Short-term variations in particular matter sedimentation off Kapp Norvegia, Weddell Sea, Antarctica: relation to water mass advection, ice cover, plankton biomass and feeding activity. Polar Biol 11:185–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brichta M, Belem A (2002) Chlorophyll-a, particulate organic carbon/nitrogen (POC/N) and biogenic silica (Bsi) distribution. Berichte Polar Meeresforsch 407:61–64Google Scholar
  7. von Bodungen B (1986) Phytoplankton growth and krill grazing during spring in the Bransfield Strait, Antarctica—implications from sediment trap collections. Polar Biol 6:153–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boysen-Ennen E, Piatkowski U (1988) Meso- and macrozooplankton communities in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Polar Biol 9:17–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Casareto BE, Nemoto T (1986) Salps of the Southern ocean (Australian sector) during the 1983–84 summer, with special reference to the species Salpa thompsoni. Mem Natl Inst Polar Res 40:221–239Google Scholar
  10. Casareto BE, Nemoto T (1987) Latitudinal variation of the number of muscle fibres in Sapla thompsoni (Tunicata, Thaliacea) in the Southern Ocean: implications for the validity of the species Salpa gerlachei. Proc NIPR Symp Polar Biol 1:90–104Google Scholar
  11. Chiba S, Ishimaru T, Hosie GW, Wright SW (1999) Population structure change of Salpa thompsoni from austral mid-summer to autumn. Polar Biol 22:341–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chiba S, Ishimaru T, Hosie GW, Fukuchi M (2001) Spatio-temporal variability of zooplankton community structure off east Antarctica (90 to 160°E). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 216:95–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cisewski B, Strass V, van Franeker JA (2002) Underway measurements of currents with the vessel-mounted acoustic doppler current profiler. Berichte Polar Meeresforsch 407:16–18Google Scholar
  14. Conover RJ, Durvasula R, Roy S, Wang R (1986) Probable loss of chlorophyll-derived pigments during passage through the gut of zooplankton and some of the consequences. Limnol Oceanogr 31:878–887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Daponte MC, Capitanio FL, Esnal GB (2001) A mechanism for swarming in the tunicate Salpa thompsoni (Foxton, 1961). Ant Sci 13:240–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Deibel D (1982) Laboratory determined mortality, fecundity and growth rates of Thalia democratica Forskal and Dolioletta gegenbauri Uljianin (Tunicata, Thaliacea). J Plank Res 4:143–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. De la Mare WL (1997) Abrupt mid-twentieth-century decline in Antarctic sea-ice extent from whaling records. Nature 389:57–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Drits AV, Semenova TN (1989) Trophic characteristics of major planktonic phytphages from South Shetland Islands region during early spring. In: Ponomareva LA (ed) Complex investigations of the pelagic zone of the Southern Ocean (in Russian). Shirshov Institute Oceanology Publishers, Moscow, pp 66–78Google Scholar
  19. Dubischar CD, Bathmann UV (1997) Grazing impact of copepods and salps on phytoplankton in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep Sea Res II 44:415–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dubischar C, Pakhomov EA, Bathmann UV (2005) The tunicate Salpa thompsoni ecology in the Southern Ocean. II. Proximate and elemental composition. Mar Biol (submitted)Google Scholar
  21. Foxton P (1966) The distribution and life history of Salpa thompsoni Foxton with observations on a related species S. gerlachei Foxton. Discov Rep 34:1–116Google Scholar
  22. Harbison GR, McAlister VL, Gilmer RW (1986) The response of the salp, Pegea confoederata, to high levels of particulate material: Starvation in the midst of plenty. Limnol Oceanogr 31:371–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hosie GW, Cochran TG, Pauly T, Beaumont KL, Wright SW, Kitchener JA (1997) Zooplankton community structure of Prydz bay, Antarctica, January–February 1993. Proc NIPR Symp Polar Biol 10:90–133Google Scholar
  24. Hosie GW, Schultz MB, Kitchener JA, Cochran TG, Richards K (2000) Macrozooplankton community structure off East Antarctica (80–150°E) during the austral summer of 1995/1996. Deep Sea Res II 47:2437–2463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Huntley ME, Sykes PF, Marin V (1989) Biometry and trophodynamics of Salpa thompsoni Foxton (Tunicata: Thaliacea) near the Antarctic Peninsula in Austral summer, 1983–1984. Polar Biol 10:59–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Klinck JM, Hofmann EE, Beardsley RC, Salihoglu B, Howard S (2004) Water-mass properties and circulation on the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf in austral fall and winter 2001. Deep Sea Res II 51:1925–1946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Le Fèvre J, Legendre L, Rivkin RB, (1998) Fluxes of biogenic carbon in the Southern Ocean: roles of large microphagous zooplankton. J Mar Syst 17:325–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Levitus A, Antonov JI, Boyer TP, Stephens C (2000) Warming of the World Ocean. Science 287:2225–2229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Loeb V, Siegel V, Holm-Hansen O, Hewitt R, Fraser W, Trivelpiece W, Trivelpiece S (1997) Effects of sea-ice extent and krill or salp dominance on the Antarctic food web. Nature 387:897–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mackas D, Bohrer R (1976) Fluorescence analysis of zooplankton gut contents and an investigation of diel feeding patterns. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 25:77–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Madin LP, Deibel D (1998) Feeding and energetics of Thaliacea. In: Bone Q (ed) The biology of pelagic tunicates. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 81–104Google Scholar
  32. Madin LP, Kremer R (1995) Determination of the filter-feeding rates of salps (Tunicata, Thaliacea). ICES J Mar Sci 52:583–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Madin LP, Purcell JE (1992) Feeding, metabolism, and growth of Cyclosalpa bakeri in the subarctic Pacific. Limnol Oceanogr 37:1236–1251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moline MA, Claustre H, Frazer TK, Grzymski J, Schofield O, Vernet M (2000) Changes in phytoplankton assemblages along the Antarctic Peninsula and potential implications for the Antarctic food web. In: Davison W, Howard-Williams C, Broady P (eds) Antarctic ecosystems: models for wider ecological understanding. The Caxon Press, Christchurch, pp 263–271Google Scholar
  35. Nicol A, Pauly T, Bindoff NL, Wright S, Thlele D, Hosie GW, Strutton PG, Woehler E (2000) Ocean circulation off east Antarctica affects ecosystem structure and sea-ice extent. Nature 406:504–507CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Nishikawa J, Tsuda A (2001) Diel vertical migration of the tunicate Salpa thompsoni in the Southern Ocean during summer. Polar Biol 24:299–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nishikawa J, Naganobu M, Ichii T, Ishii H, Terazaki M, Kawaguchi K (1995) Distribution of salps near the South Shetland Islands during austral summer, 1990–1991 with special reference to krill distribution. Polar Biol 15:31–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Omori M, Ikeda T (1984) Methods in marine zooplankton ecology. Wiley, New York, 323ppGoogle Scholar
  39. Pakhomov EA (1991) Antarctic macroplankton and the nutrition of coastal fishes (in Russian). PhD Thesis, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, pp 1–263Google Scholar
  40. Pakhomov EA (2004) Salp/krill interactions in the eastern Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep Sea Res II 51:2645–2660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pakhomov EA, Froneman PW (2004) Mesozooplankton dynamics in the eastern Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean during the austral summer 1997/1998. 2. Grazing impact. Deep Sea Res II 51:2617–2631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pakhomov EA, Grachev DG, Trotsenko BG, (1994) Distribution and composition of macroplankton communities in the Lazarev Sea (Antarctic). Oceanology 33:635–642Google Scholar
  43. Pakhomov EA, Froneman PW, Perissinotto R (2002) Salp/krill interactions in the Southern Ocean: spatial segregation and implications for the carbon flux. Deep Sea Res II 49:1881–1907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pakhomov EA, Fuentes V, Schloss I, Atencio A, Esnal GB (2003) Beaching of the tunicate Salpa thompsoni at high levels of suspended particulate matter in the Southern Ocean. Polar Biol 26:427–431Google Scholar
  45. Perissinotto R, Pakhomov EA (1998a) Contribution of salps to carbon flux of marginal ice zone of the Lazarev Sea, southern ocean. Mar Biol 131:25–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Perissinotto R, Pakhomov EA (1998b) The trophic role of the tunicate Salpa thompsoni in the Antarctic marine ecosystem. J Mar Syst 17:361–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Piatkowski U (1989) Macrozooplankton communities from Weddell Sea surface waters, Antarctica. Pesq Antárt Bras 1:1–10Google Scholar
  48. Ross RM, Quetin LB, Haberman KL (1998) Interannual and seasonal variability in short-term grazing impact of Euphausia superba in nearshore and offshore waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula. J Mar Syst 17:261–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schnack SB (1985) A note on the sedimentation of particulate matter in Antarctic waters during summer. Meeresforschung 30:306–315Google Scholar
  50. Siegel V, Harm U (1996) The composition, abundance, biomass and diversity of the epipelagic zooplankton communities of the southern Bellingshausen Sea (Antarctic) with special reference to krill and salps. Arch Fish Mar Res. 44:115–139Google Scholar
  51. Smedsrud LH (2005) Warming of the deep water in the Weddell Sea along the Greenwich meridian: 1977–2001. Deep Sea Res I 52:241–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Smith DA, Hofmann EE, Klinck JM, Lascara CM (1999) Hydrography and circulation of the West Antarctic Peninsula Continental Shelf. Deep Sea Res I 46:925–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Strickland JDH, Parsons TR (1968) A practical handbook of seawater analysis. Bull Fish Res Bd Canada 167:1–311Google Scholar
  54. Voronina NM (1998) Comparative abundance and distribution of major filter-feeders in the Antarctic pelagic zone. J Mar Syst 17:375–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Walsh JJ, Dieterle DA, Lenes J (2001) A numerical analysis of carbon dynamics of the Southern Ocean phytoplankton community: the roles of light and grazing in effecting both sequestration of atmospheric CO2 and food availability to larval krill. Deep Sea Res I 48:1–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. A. Pakhomov
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • C. D. Dubischar
    • 2
  • V. Strass
    • 2
  • M. Brichta
    • 2
  • U. V. Bathmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Ocean SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Fort HareAlice South Africa

Personalised recommendations