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Crustacea in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice: Distribution, Diet and Life History Strategies


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Arndt, CE and Swadling, KM 2006 , 'Crustacea in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice: Distribution, Diet and Life History Strategies', in A.J. Southward and D.W. Sims (eds.), Advances in Marine Biology , Elsevier, pp. 197-315.

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This review concerns crustaceans that associate with sea ice. Particular
emphasis is placed on comparing and contrasting the Arctic and Antarctic
sea ice habitats, and the subsequent influence of these environments on the
life history strategies of the crustacean fauna. Sea ice is the dominant feature
of both polar marine ecosystems, playing a central role in physical processes
and providing an essential habitat for organisms ranging in size from viruses to
whales. Similarities between the Arctic and Antarctic marine ecosystems include
variable cover of sea ice over an annual cycle, a light regimen that can extend
from months of total darkness to months of continuous light and a pronounced
seasonality in primary production. Although there are many similarities, there
are also major diVerences between the two regions: The Antarctic experiences
greater seasonal change in its sea ice extent, much of the ice is over very deep
water and more than 80% breaks out each year. In contrast, Arctic sea ice often
covers comparatively shallow water, doubles in its extent on an annual cycle and
the ice may persist for several decades. Crustaceans, particularly copepods and
amphipods, are abundant in the sea ice zone at both poles, either living within the
brine channel system of the ice-crystal matrix or inhabiting the ice–water
interface. Many species associate with ice for only a part of their life cycle,
while others appear entirely dependent upon it for reproduction and development.
Although similarities exist between the two faunas, many diVerences are
emerging. Most notable are the much higher abundance and biomass of Antarctic
copepods, the dominance of the Antarctic sea ice copepod fauna by calanoids,
the high euphausiid biomass in Southern Ocean waters and the lack of any
species that appear fully dependent on the ice. In the Arctic, the ice-associated
fauna is dominated by amphipods. Calanoid copepods are not tightly associated
with the ice, while harpacticoids and cyclopoids are abundant. Euphausiids are
nearly absent from the high Arctic. Life history strategies are variable, although
reproductive cycles and life spans are generally longer than those for temperate
congeners. Species at both poles tend to be opportunistic feeders and periods of
diapause or other reductions in metabolic expenditure are not uncommon.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Arndt, CE and Swadling, KM
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/S0065-2881(06)51004-1
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