Polar Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 10, pp 1407–1418 | Cite as

Studies on the association of Metopa glacialis (Amphipoda, Crustacea) and Musculus discors (Mollusca, Mytilidae)

  • Anne Helene S. Tandberg
  • Wim Vader
  • Jørgen Berge
Original Paper


Associations between amphipods and mollusks are known from several examples, but the possible life-history strategies these amphipods utilize are often unknown. We present here the autecology of the stenothoid amphipod Metopa glacialis, an associate of the mytilid bivalve Musculus discors. Samples collected from northeast Spitsbergen of 279 M. discors show a prevalence of M. glacialis in 75%, with a variation between 1 and 41 amphipods within one mussel, the mean being 3.7. The associated amphipods have been analysed for several life-history traits such as size distributions, brood sizes and cohort compositions. Analyses of fatty acid composition of the associated species indicate different food sources for the amphipods and mollusks. Based on our data we propose two possible life-history strategies for M. glacialis: 3 or more seasons of single broods and parental care over more than 1 year after hatching, or multiple broods in one season and extended parental care. To our knowledge multiple broods in one season and extended parental care have never been reported in arctic amphipods.


Associated amphipods Extended parental care Life-history strategy Metopa glacialis Musculus discors 



The authors would like to thank the Norwegian Research Council for financial support of AHT, and the University Studies at Svalbard for cruise-time. M. Thiel, K. N. White and two anonymous reviewers came with valuable comments and suggestions to earlier versions of this manuscript. A.H.T. would like to thank IRIS biomiljø for use of their lab time in the Ny Ålesund Marine Lab. S. Mjøs, Nofima BioLab, kindly helped with the lipid analyses and H. Nygård helped with statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Helene S. Tandberg
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wim Vader
    • 1
  • Jørgen Berge
    • 2
  1. 1.University Museum of Tromsø, University of TromsøTromsøNorway
  2. 2.University Centre in SvalbardLongyearbyenNorway
  3. 3.IRIS biomiljøRandabergNorway

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