On the biogeography and ecology of the Southern Ocean decapod fauna
Keywords:Biogeography, decapod crustaceans, Southern Ocean
The biogeography and ecology of decapod crustaceans was described for the higher latitudes of the Southern Ocean. The analyzed area included the transitional or antiboreal region of the South American continental shelves (south of about 42°30'S), the Antarctic continental shelves, the Subantarctic islands of the Scotia and the Kerguelen Arcs, the deep sea south of about 42°S and the pelagic realm between the Subtropical Convergence and the Antarctic continent. A broad base of own data and a review of the literature revealed the presence of 98 benthic decapod species in the entire area, with 92 species on the continental shelves and around the Subantarctic islands, and 6 species in the deep sea. A total of 34 decapod species live in the pelagic system south of the Subtropical Convergence. About 50 % of the benthic species, nearly all deep-sea species, but only one pelagic decapod are endemic in the analyzed sectors of the Southern Ocean. Eualus kinzeri (Caridea: Hippolytidae) is the only endemic decapod of the Antarctic continental shelves. By means of a multivariate cluster analysis the antiboreal decapod fauna of South America was separated from the species living around Antarctica and the Subantarctic islands of the Scotia and Kerguelen Arc. In contrast to earlier studies the northern distribution limit of the Antarctic decapod fauna was set at approximately 55°30'S, and includes species which are distributed on the southern tip of South America. The species number in the antiboreal region of South America is 79, and higher than known before. The caridean shrimps are the most numerous group within the entire area, and together with the anomuran crabs, the palinuran and astacuran lobsters they demonstrate a high degree of eurybathy compared to the Brachyura. The restriction of the Brachyura to shallow-water zones is discussed as one reason, that caused the absence of this group on the Antarctic continental shelves after the successive elimination of the shallow-water fauna during glaciation of the southern hemisphere.
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