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Changes in biomass and elemental composition during early ontogeny of the Antarctic isopod crustacean Ceratoserolis trilobitoides

By Olaf Heilmayer, Sven Thatje, Christine McClelland, Kathleen Conlan and Thomas Brey

Abstract

Changes in biomass and elemental composition (dry mass, DM; carbon, C; hydrogen, H; nitrogen, N) were studied throughout the early ontogeny in the serolid isopod Ceratoserolis trilobitoides from a population off the South Shetland Islands (62°24.35?S, 61°23.77?W). Specimens of C. trilobitoides were sampled using an Agassiz trawl during the expedition ANT XXIII-8 of RV Polarstern in January 2007. Classification of embryos into six developmental stages followed previous studies. No clear size-dependant fecundity relationship was found in ovigerous C. trilobitoides. Egg volume increased by about 160 and 400% from stage I to IV and stage IV to VI, respectively. DM, C, N, and H continuously decreased throughout the early ontogeny from stage I to VI, but DM showed significant increase on reaching the late-V stage and premanca stages. The C:N ratio remained relatively stable throughout stages I to V, followed by a significant drop from about 6.17 to 5.5 in subsequent stages, indicating depletion of lipid resources of maternal origin. The results coincide with previous studies and indicate a shift from a lipid-based metabolism throughout early embryo stages to a protein-based metabolism in the late-V and premanca stage, which requires external energy supply. Given the steep increase in DM in the final phase of embryo development (late-V stage to premanca) and the need for external food supply to exert growth, the possibility of external food supply or cannibalism in early offspring of C. trilobitoides is discussed

Topics: QL
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:51151
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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