WoRMS source details

Stiller, Michael. (1996). Verbreitung und Lebensweise der Aphroditiden und Polynoiden (Polychaeta) im östlichen Weddellmeer und im Lazarevmeer (Antarktis). Berichte zur Polarforschung. 185: i-vii + 1-200.
10.2312/BzP_0185_1996 [view]
Stiller, Michael
Verbreitung und Lebensweise der Aphroditiden und Polynoiden (Polychaeta) im östlichen Weddellmeer und im Lazarevmeer (Antarktis)
Berichte zur Polarforschung
185: i-vii + 1-200
World Polychaeta Database (WPolyDb)
Available for editors  PDF available [request]
General investigations on Antarctic macrozoobenthos have shown that Aphroditids and Polynoids are very common polychaete families in that area. However very little was known about their distribution, biology and the part they play within the benthic community of the Weddell and the Lazarev Seas. The aim of this study was to get more exact inforrnation on the horizontal and vertical distribution of these two polychaete families. Further investigations on feeding, reproduction, and on growth of an high Antarctic polychaete were carried out to improve knowledge about the life cycle and life strategies of these two polychaete families.
The investigated material was part of macrozoobenthos samples, which have been collected during seven "Polarstern" expeditions to the Weddell Sea and the Lazarev Sea. 134 trawl catches and 56 multibox corer samples have been analysed, which have been taken between 118 and 4119m depth. The main emphasis was on the continental shelf between 150 and 650 m.
The total polychaete material revealed 20 Polynoid species or subspecies respectively and two Aphroditide species, one of them was represented by two subspecies. Eight species were described for the first time for the research area, one of them is unknown up to now. The Polynoid fauna of the Weddell and the Lazarev Seas was separated by duster analysis into two species groups. The geographical distribution of both groups was similar to results described in former studies in that area for macrozoobenthos communities in general, i.e. an eastem shelf community, a southem trench community and a southem shelf community. The latter represented a mixture of both species groups.
Quantitative analysis of the Polynoid fauna was carried out by means of multibox corer samples. Mean abundance of Polynoids was 31.5±44.2 Ind.m-2 corresponding to a mean biomass of 599±1184 mg (wetweight)·m-2. Principal area of distribution was the shelf with abundances up to 234 Ind.m-2 and 4886 mg (wetweight)·m-2, spectively. Polynoids were high abundant in areas with dense populations of epibenthic suspension feeders such as porifera, bryozoans and hydrozoans. However, some species preferred sparsely colonised substrates. Polynoids represented 3.5% of the biomass of the Polychaete fauna and 0.3% of the whole macrozoobenthos of the eastem Weddell Sea shelf.
An analysis of the gut contents of 11 Aphroditide and Polynoid species was also carried out. All investigated species were predators with a more or less widespread food range. Main food items were polychaetes, crustaceans and echinoderms. The diet differed among the species. The Polynoid Polyeunoa laevis was an example of a feeding specialist. It settles and feeds on corals of the genus Thouarella and other gorgonarians.
The reproductive cycle of eight Polynoid species was investigated. All reproduced seasonally within a period of one year. Oogenesis and spermatogenesis started during December and January. Spawning took place until the end of October. Compared with other Antarctic invertebrate eggs the polynoids released small and numerous eggs. For example, 4 million eggs were counted in one specimen of Eunoe hartmanae.
Reproductive strategy of the Aphroditide Laetmonice producta producta differed from that of the Polynoids. Size frequency distribution of oocytes and eggs and the occurrence of mature sperms during the whole spring and summer season between October and May indicate a more or less continuous reproductive cycle. The largest eggs of Laetmonice producta producta were more than two times larger than Polynoid eggs. As the larger egg size is associated with a high amount of yolk, a lecitothrophic larval development for Laetmonice producta producta is likely, whereas most Polynoids in the Weddell Sea seem to have a planktotrophic larval development.
Lecitotrophic larval development may be useful to sustain the oscillations of the primary production in high Antarctic regions for Laetmonice producta producta. In contrast Polynoids may compensate a difficult planktotrophic larval development by longevity of the adults only, which enables them to reproduce several times during their life span. The large size of these animals indicates a life cycle of several years.
The age of Harmothoe spinosa was determined by means of patterns of stripes on the jaws. In the Weddell Sea this species reached an age of 13 years with a body length of 7 cm. In the shallow water of King George Island the oldest specimen was six years old with a body length of about 4 cm. Some species such as Austrolaenilla hastulifera, Eulagisca gigantea and Eunoe hartmanae are growing to very large sizes up to 12 to 22 cm body length. This indicates that they should grow some years older than Harmothoe spinosa.
Growth performance of Harmothoe spinosa is comparable to that of polychaetes living at temperate latitudes. Harmothoe spinosa has a lower average productivity compared with other taxa of the Antarctic zoobenthos. Because of the low biomass and productivity its production only reached 0.4 mg (afdw) m-2y-1. Thus, although Polynoids are common, their ecological significance seems to be low in the Antarctic macrozoobenthos.
Systematics, Taxonomy
RIS (EndNote, Reference Manager, ProCite, RefWorks)
BibTex (BibDesk, LaTeX)
2013-01-12 18:30:12Z
2018-11-07 18:47:21Z