Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 5, pp 1073–1081 | Cite as

Growth and reproduction in the Antarctic brooding bivalve Adacnarca nitens (Philobryidae) from the Ross Sea

  • Nicholas D. Higgs
  • Adam J. Reed
  • Rachel Hooke
  • David J. Honey
  • Olaf Heilmayer
  • Sven ThatjeEmail author
Original Paper


We present information on the reproductive biology, population structure, and growth of the brooding Antarctic bivalve Adacnarca nitens Pelseneer 1903, from the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Individuals ranging from 0.85 to 6.00 mm were found attached to a hydrozoan colony. This species shows low fecundity and large egg size, common to other brooding species. The minimum size at which oogenesis was detected was 2.3 mm and the minimum size at which brooding was evident was 3.9 mm. Embryos of a full range of developmental stages were brooded simultaneously in females. The population showed a log–normal distribution and results suggest non-periodic reproduction with continuous embryonic development. The reproductive traits of A. nitens are discussed in the context of circum-Antarctic species distribution and limitations to dispersal in brooding benthic invertebrates.


Bivalve Growth Ring Brood Size Mantle Cavity Vitelline Membrane 
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.



N.D. Higgs and A.J. Reed equally contributed to this work. The authors express their thanks to Peter Rehm and the members and crew of the Italian R/V Italica expedition for collection of samples. Katrin Linse is thanked for confirming the species identification. This project was supported by the Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Network of Excellence, MarBEF (Contract no. GOCE-CT-2003-505446) of the 6th European Framework Programme (FP6).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas D. Higgs
    • 1
  • Adam J. Reed
    • 1
  • Rachel Hooke
    • 1
  • David J. Honey
    • 1
  • Olaf Heilmayer
    • 1
  • Sven Thatje
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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