Original Paper

Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 9, pp 2363-2373

First online:

Metabolism of shallow and deep-sea benthic crustaceans and echinoderms in Hawaii

  • Suzanne WilsonAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, University of HawaiiDepartment of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow
  • , John YehAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, University of Hawaii
  • , Keith E. KorsmeyerAffiliated withDepartment of Natural Sciences, Hawaii Pacific University
  • , Jeffrey C. DrazenAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, University of Hawaii Email author 

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Little is known about the metabolism of deep-living, benthic invertebrates, despite its importance in estimating energy flow through individuals and populations. To evaluate the effects of depth and broad taxonomic group/locomotory mode, we measured the respiration rates of 25 species of benthic decapod crustaceans and 18 species of echinoderms from the littoral zone to the deep slope of Hawaii. Specimens were collected by hand, trap, or submersible and maintained in the laboratory at temperatures close to ambient temperatures recorded at the time of collection. After acclimatization to laboratory conditions, oxygen consumption was measured for each individual in closed chambers. Overall, crustaceans had higher metabolic rates than echinoderms, and within the crustaceans, caridean shrimps had higher rates than crabs and lobsters. These differences are probably related to locomotory mode and general levels of activity. At in situ environmental temperatures, metabolic rates of deeper-living invertebrates are much lower than those of shallower living species, but this decline is explained by changes in temperature. When the data were compared with similar data sets collected off California and in the Mediterranean, Hawaiian crabs, lobsters, and echinoderms had lower metabolic rates than similar species in the other regions after adjustments for temperature were made. Some of these differences could be methodological. Regional food web models should use broad taxonomic groupings and region-specific data when possible.