Scavenging in Antarctica: intense variation between sites and seasons in shallow benthic necrophagy

The response of scavengers to a feeding cue at Adelaide Island, West Antarctic Peninsula was investigated using a baited video camera system. Fourteen experimental deployments, each lasting 72 h were conducted at two contrasting sites during the winter and summer of 2005. The rate of bait consumption varied between sites but not between seasons, and was low in comparison with studies at lower latitudes and greater depths. At the Hangar Cove site, the nemertean Parborlasia corrugatus was out-competed at the bait and displaced by the lysianassid amphipod Cheirmedon femoratus during winter. However, C. femoratus did not feed on the bait during summer, allowing P. corrugatus to monopolise the feeding opportunity. At the South Cove site the asteroid Odontaster validus dominated the bait in both seasons but sporadic feeding by the nototheniid fish Notothenia coriiceps considerably affected consumption rates during two of the six deployments. Scavengers were attracted to the bait in very high numbers and opportunistic necrophagy seems to be a successful strategy in an environment that is intensely disturbed by ice.


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Authors: Smale, Dan, Barnes, David K.A. ORCIDORCID record for David K.A. Barnes, Fraser, Keiron P.P., Mann, Paul J., Brown, Matt P.

On this site: David Barnes
1 January, 2007
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology / 349
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