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Ecology of a Subarctic Population of Pontoporeia Affinis Lindstrom (Amphipoda)

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The density, reproduction and feeding of Pontoporeia affinis was determined from collections made between June 1975 and November 1976 in Yellowknife Bay in the Canadian subarctic. Temperature, dissolved oxygen and the organic content of the sediments had marked influence on the overall distribution pattern. Maximum population levels (4.2 X 103/m3) occurred at a depth of 12 to 14 m where summer temperatures reached 13° C, dissolved oxygen was always at saturation and the organic content of the sediments averaged 5.2% (dry weight). Multiple regression analyses indicated that the appearance of young accounted for almost 50% of seasonal variation in densities. Reproduction took place in 2 stages (November-early January, late January-April) and was effect primarily by temperature. The food of P. af finis consisted almost entirely of detritus. Up to 78% of the variability in feeding intensity was related to temperature, followed by changing light conditions (19%) and reproductive activity (1%). Mortality due to inadequate nutrition was negligible.

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