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The circadian behavioural regulation of the shrimp, Processa canaliculata Leach, 1815 (Decapoda, Processidae) in relation to depth, ontogeny, and the reproductive cycle

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Marine endobenthic decapods (i.e., burrowers and buriers) are a good model of reference for the study of circadian regulation in relation to day–night cycles of different intensity at different depths. Their behavioural rhythms can be efficiently studied with bottom trawling, repeated at different times of the day. In this study, fluctuations in the number of sampled Processa canaliculata as recorded by a temporally scheduled bottom trawl sampling on the shelf (100-110 m) and the slope (400-430 m), in October (i.e., autumn equinox) and June (i.e., summer solstice), were used to characterize the species' circadian regulation and its modulation over depth and season. A surface density of sampled animals (no. km−2) was computed for each haul and resulting time series were screened by waveform and periodogram analysis. Light intensity measures were also taken by CTD between consecutive catches. Marked catchability patterns were reported at both depths according to light intensity cycles, the amplitude of which varies several orders of magnitude. At 100-110 m, results showed a crepuscular rise in captures in autumn, while a nocturnal rise in captures was reported during the spring-summer. In autumn, these peaks in catches were diurnal at 400-430 m, showing a shift in their timing as a function of depth. In June, the phenomenon was also reported although the peaks in the catches shifted toward sunset. To assess whether a differential phase in activity rhythms was taking place upon ontogeny, sex, or stage of the reproductive cycle, surface density estimates at each catch were recomputed separately for juveniles, adults, berried females, non-berried females, and males. Resulting time series were screened by waveform and periodogram analyses. Juveniles and adults showed similar rhythmicity, whereas the patterns of capture for females were arrhythmic when these were berried. The present data are discussed considering that P. canaliculata is an endobenthic species with burying activity. I crostacei decapodi endobentonici sono un modello di referenza per lo studio della regolazione circadiana del comportamento nelle specie marine a differenti profonditá in relazione a cicli luminici di differente intensitá. I ritmi comportamentali di tali specie possono essere efficientemente studiati mediante la pesca a strascico ripetuta a differenti ore del giorno. Nel presente studio, con tale sistema di campionamento, le fluttuazioni di cattura del gambero Processa canaliculata sono state studiate sulla piattaforma (100–110 m) e sulla scarpata (400–430 m) continentali, in ottobre (i.e., l'equinozio d'autunno) e giunio (i.e., l'equinozio di primavera), come indicatore di un ritmo comportamentalo e della sua modulazione in relazione alla profonditá ed alla variazione stagionale del fotoperiodo. A 100–110 m un incremento crepuscolare (i.e., all'alba ed al tramonto) delle catture e' stato registrato in ottobre. Tale incremento era pienamente notturno in giunio in accordo con la contrazione della scotofase. A 400–430 m, le catture sono notturne, rivelando un ritardo nell'ora di attivitá massima degli animali in funzione della profonditá. La struttura demografica dei campioni e' stata anche analizzata in relazione alla taglia ed al sesso con il fine di riportare una variazione del ritmo di attivitá della specie su base ontogenetica o relazionabile con il ciclo ripoduttivo. Ritmi di cattura identici sono stati ottenuti in animali di differente taglia. Differenze nel ritmo di attivitá (arritmia) sono state riscontrare nelle femmine con uova. Questi dati sono discussi considerando il comprtamento fossorio di P. canaliculata.

Affiliations: 1: Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM, CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain


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