Seasonal variation in the gametogenic ecology of the Antarctic scallop Adamussium colbecki
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Quasi-monthly samples of the Antarctic pectinid bivalve Adamussium colbecki were examined to determine the gametogenic pattern and periodicity. Both female and male gametogenic patterns show a very distinct seasonal development, with the initiation of gametogenesis in October and spawning in late September and early October of the following year. The duration of the gametogenic cycle is unusually short for Antarctic benthos, being 12 months. Reproductive effort (ratio of gonad mass to total tissue mass) is significantly higher in males than females, and males are ready to spawn earlier in the austral winter than females. The digestive gland also shows a strong seasonal cycle but develops earlier than the gonad. We propose that energy from the spring bloom is stored in the digestive gland before being transferred to the gonads. Gonad size, digestive-gland size and, to a lesser extent, adductor-muscle size, are related to adult size in most samples. The length of the gametogenic cycle suggests that reproduction in A. colbecki is more pectinid than Antarctic.