Thermal constraints on the respiration and excretion rates of krill, Euphausia hanseni and Nematoscelis megalops, in the northern Benguela upwelling system off Namibia

Werner, Thorsten GND; Hünerlage, Kim; Verheye, Hans; Buchholz, Friedrich

Rates of respiration and ammonia excretion of Euphausia hanseni and Nematoscelis megalops were determined experimentally at four temperatures representative of conditions encountered by these euphausiid species in the northern Benguela upwelling environment. The respiration rate increased from 7.7 micromol O2 h–1 gww–1 at 5 degrees C to 18.1 micromol O2 h–1 gww–1 at 20 degrees C in E. hanseni and from 7.0 micromol O2 h–1 gww–1 (5 degrees C) to 23.4 micromol O2 h–1 gww–1 (20 degrees C) in N. megalops . The impact of temperature on oxygen uptake of the two species differed significantly. Nematoscelis megalops showed thermal adaptations to temperatures between 5 degrees C and 10 degrees C (Q10 = 1.9) and metabolic constraint was evident at higher temperatures (Q10 = 2.6). In contrast, E. hanseni showed adaptations to temperatures of 10–20 degrees C (Q10 = 1.5) and experienced metabolic depression below 10 degrees C (Q 10 = 2.6). Proteins were predominantly metabolised by E. hanseni in contrast to lipids by N. megalops . Carbon demand of N. megalops between 5 and 15 degrees C was lower than in E. hanseni versus equal food requirements at 20 degrees . It is concluded that the two species display different physiological adaptations, based on their respective temperature adaptations, which are mirrored in their differential vertical positioning in the water column.

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Werner, Thorsten / Hünerlage, Kim / Verheye, Hans / et al: Thermal constraints on the respiration and excretion rates of krill, Euphausia hanseni and Nematoscelis megalops, in the northern Benguela upwelling system off Namibia. 2012.

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