Marine Biology

, Volume 143, Issue 3, pp 477–484 | Cite as

Saving by freezing? Metabolic rates of Adamussium colbecki in a latitudinal context



Standard metabolic rates of the endemic Antarctic scallop, Adamussium colbecki (Smith, 1902), were measured in austral summer and under simulated winter conditions. Average mass-specific metabolic rates were significantly different between "summer" (151.17±45.06 μl O2 g−1 h−1) and "winter" (106.52±39.65 μl O2 g−1 h−1) animals. The overall metabolic rates of A. colbecki are comparable to those of other Antarctic bivalve species, but well below those of temperate scallop species. Data for 24 scallop populations (13 species) from different latitudes give no evidence for elevated metabolic rates in A. colbecki as suggested by the concept of "metabolic cold adaptation". A world-wide comparison of metabolic rate and overall growth performance of scallops indicates that in the Antarctic scallop the energetic advantage of low basal metabolism does not counterbalance the disadvantage of the prolonged seasonal period of food shortage.



Our special thanks are extended to all participants of the "XV. Italian Expedition to Antarctica", especially the "Malippo"-crew and the divers for sampling of animals. R. Cattaneo-Vietti and M. Chiantore (University of Genoa) are gratefully acknowledged for inviting us to collaborate in their project. This research was made possible through the support of the Italian National Programme for Antarctic Research (PNRA) and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. D. Storch and S. Gatti helped during several aspects of the study. The authors hereby declare that experiments performed during this study comply with current German laws.


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© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany

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