Antarctic Science

Papers—Life Sciences and Oceanography

Do Antarctic benthic invertebrates show an extended level of eurybathy?

T. Brey a1, C. Dahm a1, M. Gorny a1, M. Klages a1, M. Stiller a1 and W.E. Arntz a1
a1 Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Postfach 120 161, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany

Article author query
brey t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dahm c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
gorny m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
klages m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
stiller m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
arntz w   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Depth distribution data were compared for 172 European and 157 Antarctic benthic invertebrate species occurring in the respective shelf areas. Antarctic species showed significantly wider depth ranges in selected families of the groups Bivalvia, Gastropoda, Amphipoda and Decapoda. No differences were found in Polychaeta, Asteroidea and Ophiuroidea, where European species also showed comparatively wide bathymetric ranges. These extended levels of eurybathy in the Antarctic benthos may be interpreted either as an evolutionary adaptation or pre-adaptation to the oscillation of shelf ice extension during the Antarctic glacial-interglacial cycle.

(Received October 2 1995)
(Accepted November 17 1995)

Key Words: benthic invertebrates; bivalves; gastropods; amphipods; decapods.