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A growth cline in encrusting benthos along a latitudinal gradient within Antarctic waters

By D.K.A. Barnes and R.J. Arnold


Growth and mortality of 3 species (Inversiula nutrix, Celleporella bougainvillei, Fenestrulina rugula) of encrusting bryozoans were examined from 5 Antarctic localities, along a latitudinal gradient. Typically, growth in marine invertebrates is, for ecological equivalents, slower or much slower in cold seas than warm waters. Contrary to the general trend, growth rates of 3 bryozoans were found to accelerate with increasing latitude in Antarctic waters. Population age structure also showed a dramatic change across the 5 study sites (from 54 to 68 degrees S) through hugely increased mortality with increasing latitude. Reduction in inter-specific competition is theorised as explaining higher growth rates. Increased levels of ice scour are probably responsible for the differential mortality

Topics: Marine Sciences, Biology and Microbiology, Zoology, Ecology and Environment
Year: 2001
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