The large scale-worm Laetmonice producta Grube 1877 is the most abundant aphroditid polychaete in Antarctic coastal waters. We investigated the demographic structure and some reproductive features of different L. producta populations from high-Antarctic (Weddell Sea) and Antarctic Peninsula (King George Island) shelf bottoms, collected in summer 1996 (ANT-XIII/3, EASIZ I cruise) and autumn 2000 (ANT-XVII/3, EASIZ III cruise). L. producta in the studied geographic areas showed a wide bathymetric range (200-850 m depth), and a different size distribution pattern with depth, characterised by a reduction of large specimens in the deepest stations. The species is gonochoric, with females more abundant in specimens of larger sizes. Eggs at different stages of maturation (ranging from 40 to 320 μm in diameter) were examined in 270 individuals from different stations and size classes. Egg size showed a slightly bimodal trend, with largely overlapping egg cohorts, suggesting a continuous reproduction, and a long-lasting gametogenesis. Significant differences (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, P<0.05) in egg-size frequency distribution were detected only when data of the two geographic areas were compared (Weddell Sea vs King George Island), and not according to stations within each area, and females' size. The two sets of geographic samples were collected in different seasons and therefore it was not possible to assess if differences observed are due to sampling time or to geographic factors. Mature spermatozoa were recognisable only in autumn male specimens from King George Island, and showed a rounded nucleus and a short conical acrosome. Occurrence of an endosymbiont polychaete, Veneriserva pygoclava meridionalis (new sub-species of Dorvilleidae), was recorded in the coelomic cavity of 163 specimens of L. producta, 125 of which were from the deepest station of the Weddell Sea (stn. 14, 850 m depth). L. producta females with and without the endosymbiont did not show differences in egg-size distribution. The reproductive features of L. producta, together with its large size and slow growth, seem typical of a long-living predator species, and uncoupled from the typical summer environmental conditions and the pulsating system of coastal Antarctic waters.

Population structure and reproductive biology of Laetmonice producta Grube (Polychaeta, Aphroditidae) in Antarctic waters, and relationships with an endosymbiont polychaete.

PIRAINO, Stefano
2003

Abstract

The large scale-worm Laetmonice producta Grube 1877 is the most abundant aphroditid polychaete in Antarctic coastal waters. We investigated the demographic structure and some reproductive features of different L. producta populations from high-Antarctic (Weddell Sea) and Antarctic Peninsula (King George Island) shelf bottoms, collected in summer 1996 (ANT-XIII/3, EASIZ I cruise) and autumn 2000 (ANT-XVII/3, EASIZ III cruise). L. producta in the studied geographic areas showed a wide bathymetric range (200-850 m depth), and a different size distribution pattern with depth, characterised by a reduction of large specimens in the deepest stations. The species is gonochoric, with females more abundant in specimens of larger sizes. Eggs at different stages of maturation (ranging from 40 to 320 μm in diameter) were examined in 270 individuals from different stations and size classes. Egg size showed a slightly bimodal trend, with largely overlapping egg cohorts, suggesting a continuous reproduction, and a long-lasting gametogenesis. Significant differences (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, P<0.05) in egg-size frequency distribution were detected only when data of the two geographic areas were compared (Weddell Sea vs King George Island), and not according to stations within each area, and females' size. The two sets of geographic samples were collected in different seasons and therefore it was not possible to assess if differences observed are due to sampling time or to geographic factors. Mature spermatozoa were recognisable only in autumn male specimens from King George Island, and showed a rounded nucleus and a short conical acrosome. Occurrence of an endosymbiont polychaete, Veneriserva pygoclava meridionalis (new sub-species of Dorvilleidae), was recorded in the coelomic cavity of 163 specimens of L. producta, 125 of which were from the deepest station of the Weddell Sea (stn. 14, 850 m depth). L. producta females with and without the endosymbiont did not show differences in egg-size distribution. The reproductive features of L. producta, together with its large size and slow growth, seem typical of a long-living predator species, and uncoupled from the typical summer environmental conditions and the pulsating system of coastal Antarctic waters.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/104789
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