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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Oxygen consumption rate was measured in freely moving and in-tube (artificial tubes) groups of the invasive amphipod Corophium curvispinum over a range of water oxygen tensions (PO2). Field measurements suggest that its normal habitat, at least in the United Kingdom Midlands, is relatively well oxygenated. When settled in tubes C. curvispinum consumes oxygen at almost twice the rate of freely moving animals (38.9 ± 1.1 compared to 22.2 ± 0.9 µmol g 1 h 1). Challenged by low PO2, ṀO2 shows significant decreases in both situations. No clear critical oxygen concentration (Pc) was identified, but HSC values (the PO2 at which ṀO2 has fallen to half that rate measured in normoxic conditions) are higher than many nontubicolous gammarids. HSC is lower in in-tube animals as the result of a steeper curve of ṀO2 versus PO2. This may be caused by animals exiting their tubes in hypoxic conditions and reducing their individual ṀO2. ṀO2max (the oxygen consumption in normoxic conditions extrapolated from the fitted log relationship ṀO2 = a + b log Po,), is similar to that of other out-of-tube corophiids. Observations of tube construction, and of the ventilatory water currents, suggest that the behavior of C. curvispinum is similar in these respects to some marine corophiids, i.e., C. bonelli and C. insidiosum. However, exceptionally, it shows no intermittency of tube ventilation/irrigation in normoxia, and in hypoxia it leaves its tube to move freely. The significance of its rapid tube-building abilities, its sensitivity to reductions in PO2 and its high ṀO2 when in its tube, are discussed in relation to its recent successful invasion and spread throughout European waterways from its Caspian Basin origins.


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