Patterns of gammaridean amphipod abundance and species composition associated with dominant subtidal macroalgae from the western Antarctic Peninsula

Academic Article


  • The communities of gammaridean amphipods associated with eight dominant macroalgal species were examined near Palmer Station, Western Antarctic Peninsula. A total of 78,415 individuals belonging to 32 amphipod taxa were identified with mean densities ranging up to 20 individuals/g algal wet wt. The most abundant amphipod taxon, Metaleptamphopus pectinatus, was found to associate predominately with the brown alga Desmarestia menziesii, while the second most common taxon, Jassa spp. occurred primarily on the red alga Gigartina skottsbergii. Non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis demonstrated that the population densities of each amphipod species and amphipod species composition were similar on the same algal species but dissimilar on different species of algae. Comparisons of amphipod communities associated with a given algal species but from different sampling sites indicated that although the structure of species-specific macroalgal-associated amphipod communities can vary across spatial scales of 3 km, 50% of the macroalgal species examined showed no significant inter-site differences in associated amphipod community structure. Spearman rank correlation analyses showed that higher abundances of amphipods occurred on the macroalgae with the highest number of branches. As many Antarctic amphipods are known consumers of macroalgae, their remarkable abundances are likely to play a significant role in mediating energy and nutrient transfer in nearshore Antarctic Peninsular macroalgal communities. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.
  • Published In

  • Polar Biology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huang YM; Amsler MO; McClintock JB; Amsler CD; Baker BJ
  • Start Page

  • 1417
  • End Page

  • 1430
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 11