Early life history patterns were studied in the caridean shrimp, Campylonotus vagans Bate 1888, from the subantarctic Beagle Channel (Tierra del Fuego). As a consequence of very large egg size (minimum 1.4 mm), fecundity was low, ranging from 83 to 608 eggs per female (carapace length 11 to 22.5 mm). Egg size increased continuously throughout embryonic development, reaching prior to hatching about 175% of the initial diameter. Due to low daily numbers of larval release, hatching of an egg batch lasted for about 2-3 weeks. The complete larval and early juvenile development was studied in laboratory cultures fed with Artemia sp. nauplii. At 7.0 ±0.5°C, development from hatching to metamorphosis lasted about 6 weeks. It comprised invariably two large zoeal stages and one decapodid, with mean stage durations of 12, 17, and 15 days, respectively. Larvae maintained without food survived on average for 18 days (maximum: 29 days), but did not reach the moult to the zoea II stage. Size increments at ecdysis were low in all larval stages (2.1-3.9%), indicating partial utilisation of internal energy reserves. A clearly higher increment (14%) was observed in the moult from the first to the second juvenile stage. Low fecundity, large size of eggs and larvae, an abbreviated mode of larval development, high larval survival rates during absence of food, demersal behaviour of the early life-history stages, and an extended hatching period with low daily release rates, are interpreted as adaptations to conditions typically prevailing in subantarctic regions, namely low temperatures (causing long durations of development) in combination with a pronounced seasonality in plankton production (i.e. short periods of food availability).
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Marine Animal Ecology
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL4-Response of higher marine life to change