Seasonal abundance and size variation in Antarctic populations of the Cladoceran Daphniopsis studeri

Continental freshwater lakes of Antarctica are characterized by species-poor biota (Heywood 1977). The plankton is dominated by algae, bacteria and protozoa (Koob & Leister 1972, Parker et al. 1982, Laybourn-Parry et al. 1991). Three species of micro-crustacea have been reported from Eastern Antarctica, the cladoceron Daphniopsis studeri, Ruhe and two copepods, Acanthocyclops mirnyi, Borutsky & Vinogradov, and Boeckella poppei, Mrazek (Borutsky & Vinogradov 1957, Akatova 1964, Bayley & Burton 1993). The origin of D. studeri in lakes of the Vestfold Hills has been documented (Laybourn-Parry & Marchant 1992) and it is generally thought that populations are derived from subantarctic islands and mainland South America. Populations of D. studeri from three freshwater lakes of the Vestfold Hills, have been studied in more detail in a preliminary survey of its occurrence and basic life cycle (Laybourn-Parry & Marchant 1992) during which it was observed that the population consisted entirely of parthenogenic females appearing to produce only subitaneous eggs. Herbert (1981) reported that some Arctic and Antarctic cladocerans were capable of producing ephippial (wintering) eggs asexually. D. studeri also occurs in some of the brackish lakes of the Vestfold Hills with salinities of <4 ppt. These populations were found to possess male individuals (J. Gibson, personal communication 1991) suggesting a sexual cycle and production of resting eggs. There is no evidence of this in the freshwater lakes of the region.


Publication status:
Authors: Bayliss, P.R., Laybourn-Parry, J.

1 December, 1995
Antarctic Science / 7
Link to published article: