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Ampelisca eschrichtii Krøyer, 1842 (Ampeliscidae) of the Sakhalin Shelf in the Okhotsk Sea starve in summer and feast in winter Public Deposited

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  • Background. Ampelisca eschrichtii Krøyer, 1842 of the Sakhalin Shelf of the Okhotsk Sea, Far Eastern Russia, comprise the highest known biomass concentration of any amphipod population in the world and are a critically important prey source for western gray whales. Growth and reproduction in this population has not been apparent in summer. However, they are not accessible for sampling in winter to test a previous default conclusion that they grow and reproduce in winter. Methods. We tested the default winter growth and reproduction hypothesis by detailed comparisons of the brood and gonad development among 40 females and 14 males and brood sizes among females observed since 2002. Our test included six predictions of reproductive synchrony that would be apparent from gonad and brood morphology if active reproduction occurs in summer. Results. We found high prevalences of undersized and damaged oocytes, undersized broods, a lack of females brooding fully formed juveniles, atrophied ovaries, and males with mature sperm but lacking fully developed secondary sex morphologies required for pelagic mating. All of these conditions are consistent with trophic stress and starvation. Discussion. These A. eschrichtii populations therefore appear to starve in summer and to grow and reproduce in winter. The Offshore A. eschrichtii populations occur in summer below water strata bearing high phytoplankton biomasses. These populations are more likely to feed successfully in winter when storms mix phytoplankton to their depths.
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  • Durkina VB, Chapman JW, Demchenko NL. (2018) Ampelisca eschrichtii Krøyer, 1842 (Ampeliscidae) of the Sakhalin Shelf in the Okhotsk Sea starve in summer and feast in winter. PeerJ Preprints 6:e3496v3 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3496v3
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  • Exxon Neftegas Limited for funding NLD during her participation in Sakhalin expedition of 2015 and provided publication costs
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