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MEPS 518:69-83 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11050

Metabolism of gymnosomatous pteropods in waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf during austral fall

Paul M. Suprenand1,2,*, Erica H. Ombres2, Joseph J. Torres2

1NMFS RTR Program, University of Florida, PO Box 110240, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
2College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Two species of Southern Ocean gymnosomatous pteropods with dissimilar distributional ranges were collected from western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) shelf waters in the vicinity of Anvers, Lavoisier, Adelaide and Charcot Islands from March to April 2010 and between 0 and 500 m. The sub-Antarctic gymnosome species, Spongiobranchaea australis, typically occupies regions north of the Polar Front, whereas the true Antarctic gymnosome species, Clione antarctica, inhabits colder waters and higher latitudes. Oxygen consumption rates, ammonia excretion rates, proximate body compositions and the activities of 3 metabolic enzymes—lactate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, and citrate synthase (CS)—were determined in both gymnosome species. Oxygen consumption rates of S. australis and C. antarctica were found to be similar; however, the mean ratio of oxygen consumed to ammonia excreted (O:N, 61.26 ± 18.68:1) indicated that S. australis was oxidizing primarily lipids while C. antarctica was oxidizing a mixture of proteins and lipids (26.41 ± 14.82:1). Proximate body compositions based on percent protein, percent lipid, and carbon to nitrogen ratios, suggested larger lipid storage in C. antarctica (~5%) than in S. australis (~3%). CS activities among gymnosomes were dissimilar, and comparisons of enzyme activities were made to other Antarctic organisms. Observed differences in S. australis’ physiological indicators may be related to prolonged starvation, whereas C. antarctica appears ready to survive overwintering in Antarctica. Water mass advection from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is thought to be transporting S. australis onto the WAP shelf, and away from its typical sub-Antarctic habitat.


KEY WORDS: Pteropod · Zooplankton · Western Antarctic Peninsula · Oxygen consumption rate · Starvation


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Cite this article as: Suprenand PM, Ombres EH, Torres JJ (2015) Metabolism of gymnosomatous pteropods in waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf during austral fall. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 518:69-83. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11050

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