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Metabolism and elemental composition of a giant chaetognath Sagitta gazellae from the Southern Ocean

Abstract

Oxygen consumption, ammonia excretion and phosphate excretion rates were measured on Sagitta gazellae Ritter-Zahony, in conjunction with body composition analyses (water, ash, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and phosphorus). Both water content (94.7% of wet weight) and ash content (53.0% of dry weight) recorded on S. gazellae were the highest and the lowest, respectively, among the chaetognath data being reported. Contents of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen of S. gazellae were the lowest among published values of chaetognaths. Metabolic comparison with other chaetognaths living in similar subzero water temperature revealed reduced rates in S. gazellae, while no appreciable differences were seen in the metabolic quotients (O:N, N:P and O:P ratios). The O:N atomic ratios were 10.5 to 15.9 indicating protein oriented metabolism. Reduced metabolic activity of S. gazellae is not due to their body composition as calculated daily metabolic losses of body carbon (0.50%), body nitrogen (0.38) and body phosphorus (1.6%) were also found to be lower than respective values reported on other congeners and even those of other zooplankton living in the Antarctic waters.

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Communicated by M. Anraku, Tokyo

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Ikeda, T., Kirkwood, R. Metabolism and elemental composition of a giant chaetognath Sagitta gazellae from the Southern Ocean. Marine Biology 100, 261–267 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391967

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391967

Keywords

  • Phosphorus
  • Body Composition
  • Elemental Composition
  • Atomic Ratio
  • Southern Ocean