Annual cycle of distribution of three ice-associated copepods along the coast near Dumont d'Urville, Terre Adelie (Antarctica)
Loots, C and Swadling, KM and Koubbi, P, Annual cycle of distribution of three ice-associated copepods along the coast near Dumont d'Urville, Terre Adelie (Antarctica), Journal of Marine Systems, 78, (4) pp. 599-605. ISSN 0924-7963 (2009) [Refereed Article]
In polar regions sea ice is a site of enhanced primary production during winter and provides important habitat for small grazers, such as copepods. We sampled zooplankton from the sea ice and water column throughout 2005, near Dumont d'Urville station (Terre Adélie, Antarctica). Three species of ice-associated copepods were found: two calanoid copepods Paralabidocera antarctica and Stephos longipes and the harpacticoid copepod Drescheriella glacialis. P. antarctica was the most abundant of the three and was closely associated with the sea ice during most of the year. This species had a one year life cycle with a probable over-wintering period in the sea ice as nauplii and a short copepodite phase in spring. Reproduction and spawning occurred in early summer. A comparison with two other populations (near Syowa and Davis stations) along the east coast of Antarctica showed that there was a temporal shift in the life cycles of the three populations, which was linked to variability in sea ice conditions. D. glacialis was the second most abundant copepod and was more common during the winter than during summer, indicating its preference for the sea ice habitat. In autumn, the presence of D. glacialis in the deeper part of the water column suggested that this species colonised the sea ice from the benthos. S. longipes was found only in the water column near Dumont d'Urville and was not very abundant. In Terre Adélie particular environmental conditions, such as the absence of a permanent sea ice zone throughout the year, a longer time of open water, strong katabatic winds and the presence of polynyas, have influenced both the abundance and distribution of the three common ice-associated copepods.