University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Population dynamics of the ubiquitous Antarctic benthic amphipod Orchomenella franklini and its vulnerability to environmental change

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 23:01 authored by Helen BairdHelen Baird, Stark, JS
Comprehensive ecological research is still lacking for many of the species that dominate the Antarctic benthos, preventing an adequate understanding of their potential response to environmental change. Here, population dynamics were explored in one of the most ubiquitous nearshore Antarctic benthic amphipods, Orchomenella franklini. Sex, reproductive status and body length were recorded for over 6,000 individuals, sampled from a variety of locations and times at Casey station in East Antarctica. Several life history traits were revealed for O. franklini that exemplify adaptations predicted for a polar environment. These include delayed reproduction, extended brood incubation, low fecundity, longevity and seasonal breeding linked to the summer phytoplankton bloom. There was also preliminary evidence of inter-annual and spatial fluctuations in population structure, potentially reflecting local environmental heterogeneity such as sea-ice duration. The influence of both large scale and local environmental conditions on the ecology of O. franklini provides insight into the vulnerability of this species to environmental change.


Publication title

Polar Biology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



Place of publication

175 Fifth Ave, New York, USA, Ny, 10010

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 Springer-Verlag

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania