Light regime affects the seasonal cycle of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba): impacts on growth, feeding, lipid metabolism, and maturity

Canadian Journal of Zoology, e-First Articles. Light regime is an important zeitgeber for Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana, 1850), which seems to entrain an endogenous timing system that synchronizes its life cycle to the extreme light conditions in the Southern Ocean. To understand the flexibility of Antarctic krill ’s seasonal cycle, we investigated its physiological and behavioural responses to different light regimes and if an endogenous timing system was involved in the regulation of these seasonal processes. We analysed growth, feeding, lipid content, and maturity in a 2-year laboratory experiment simula ting the latitudinal light regimes at 52°S and 66°S and constant darkness under constant food level. Our results showed that light regime affected seasonal cycles of growth, feeding, lipid metabolism, and maturity in Antarctic krill. Seasonal patterns of growth, feeding, and maturity persisted und er constant darkness, indicating the presence of an endogenous timing system. The maturity cycle showed differences in critical photoperiods according to the simulated latitudinal light regime. This suggests a flexible endogenous timing mechanism in Antarctic krill, which may determine its response to future environmental changes.
Source: Canadian Journal of Zoology - Category: Zoology Authors: Source Type: research

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