The meroplankton communities from the coastal Ross Sea: a latitudinal study
- 261 Downloads
The study of meroplankton communities in the coastal Ross Sea has been difficult due to the logistical challenges associated with sampling in remote areas and with the hurdle of larval identification. As a result, it has not been possible to estimate the latitudinal changes in reproductive strategies of marine invertebrates and to investigate Thorson’s rule—that planktotrophy is less favoured than lecithotrophy and brooding at high latitudes—along the southernmost coastline on Earth. As part of the Latitudinal Gradient Project (Antarctica New Zealand), we studied the meroplankton communities at three sites on the Victoria Land Coast and identified—using morphological and genetic information—11,117 larvae from 52 molecular Operational Taxonomical Units. This allowed for the analysis of patterns in larval diversity and abundance with latitude. Genetic identification permitted the usage of multivariate techniques to study changes in the meroplankton community and to further investigate the latitudinal variation in larval mode of nutrition. Our results showed distinct larval communities at each site, with species dominating nearby benthos being crucial in site discrimination, but with no latitudinal gradients in abundance or diversity. Planktotrophy was predominant in all three sites reflecting the minimal effect of Thorson’s rule within the Ross Sea.
KeywordsRoss Sea Meroplankton Larvae Thorson’s rule LGP
The authors wish to thank Antarctica New Zealand and, in particular, S. Gordon for making the Latitudinal Gradient Project possible. Special thanks to the field team: J. Jury, K. Ruggiero, S. Van Dijken, L. Suberg, M. Hudson, M. Anderson, R. Millar, I. McLeod, R. Ingley and A. Fowler for assistance with sample collection and morphological identification of the specimens. The authors want to thank Dr Brian McArdle for statistical advice and the comments of the editors and reviewers which greatly improved the manuscript. Research was funded by a series of grants from the University of Auckland Research Committee and the Faculty Research Development Fund.
- Absher, T. M., G. Boehs, A. R. Feijó & A. C. Da Cruz, 2003. Pelagic larvae of benthic gastropods from shallow Antarctic waters of Admiralty Bay, King George Island. Polar Biology 26(6): 359–364.Google Scholar
- Anderson, M. J., 2005. PERMANOVA: a FORTRAN computer program for permutational multivariate analysis of variance Permutational multivariate analysis of variance, a computer program. Department of Statistics, University of Auckland, New Zealand: 24.Google Scholar
- Berkman, P. A., R. Cattaneo-Vietti, M. Chiantore, C. Howard-Williams, V. Cummings & R. Kvitek, 2005. Marine research in the Latitudinal Gradient Project along Victoria Land, Antarctica. Scientia Marina 69(Suppl. 2): 57–63.Google Scholar
- De Domenico, F., M. Chiantore, S. Buongiovanni, M. P. Ferranti, S. Ghione, S. Thrush, V. Cummings, J. Hewitt, K. Kroeger & R. Cattaneo-Vietti, 2006. Latitude versus local effects on echinoderm assemblages along the Victoria Land coast, Ross Sea. Antarctica. Antarctic Science 18(4): 655–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Drummond, A. J., B. Ashton, S. Buxton, M. Cheung, A. Cooper, C. Duran, M. Field, J. Heled, M. Kearse, S. Markowitz, R. Moir, S. Stones-Havas, S. Sturrock, T. Thierer & A. Wilson, 2011. Geneious v6.1. Available from http://www.geneious.com/.
- Howard-Williams, C., I. Hawes & S. Gordon, 2010. The environmental basis of ecosystem variability in Antarctica: research in the Latitudinal Gradient Project. Antarctic Science 22 (Special Issue 06): 591–602.Google Scholar
- Kang, D. H., I. Y. Ahn & K. S. Choi, 2009. The annual reproductive pattern of the Antarctic clam, Laternulla eliptica from Marian Cove. King George Island. Polar Biology 32(4): 517–528.Google Scholar
- Levin, L. A. & T. S. Bridges, 2001. Pattern and diversity in the reproduction and development. In McEdward, L. R. (ed.), Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae. CRC Press, London: 2–48.Google Scholar
- Murray, J., 1895. General observations on the distribution of marine organisms. Report scientific research, voyage of the HMS challenger, a summary of the scientific results, second part: 1431–1462.Google Scholar
- Povero, P., M. Castellano, N. Ruggieri, L. S. Monticelli, V. Saggiomo, M. Chiantore, M. Guidetti & R. Cattaneo-Vietti, 2006. Water column features and their relationship with sediments and benthic communities along the Victoria Land coast, Ross Sea, summer 2004. Antarctic Science 18(4): 603–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pruszak, Z., 1980. Currents circulation in the waters of Admiralty Bay (region of Arctowski Station on King George Island). Polish Polar Research 1(1): 55–74.Google Scholar
- Sewell, M. A., S. Lavery & C. S. Baker, 2006. Whose larva is that? Molecular identification of planktonic larvae of the Ross Sea. New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No. 3: 57.Google Scholar
- Smith, D. L. & K. B. Johnson, 1977. A guide to marine coastal plankton and marine invertebrate larvae. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Dubuque, Iowa.Google Scholar
- Stanwell-Smith, D., A. Hood & L. S. Peck, 1997. A field guide to the pelagic invertebrate larvae of the maritime Antarctic. British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Steedman, F. H., 1976. Zooplankton fixation and preservation, Vol. 4. UNESCO, Paris.Google Scholar
- Thrush, S., P. Dayton, R. Cattaneo-Vietti, M. Chiantore, V. Cummings, N. Andrew, I. Hawes, S. Kim, R. Kvitek & A.-M. Schwarz, 2006. Broad-scale factors influencing the biodiversity of coastal benthic communities of the Ross Sea. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 53(8): 959–971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Todd, C. D., M. S. Laverack & G. A. Boxshall, 1996. Coastal Marine Zooplankton, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Vacchi, M., A. L. DeVries, C. W. Evans, M. Bottaro, L. Ghigliotti, L. Cutroneo & E. Pisano, 2012. A nursery area for the Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum at Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea): first estimate of distribution and abundance of eggs and larvae under the seasonal sea-ice. Polar biology 35(10): 1573–1585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vance, R. R., 1973. On reproductive strategies in marine benthic invertebrates. American Naturalist:339-352.Google Scholar