Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Life in the Hypoxic and Anoxic Zones: Metabolism and Proximate Composition of Caribbean Troglobitic Crustaceans with Observations on the Water Chemistry of Two Anchialine Caves

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract The interaction of freshwater, seawater, and limestone creates the unique environment of the anchialine cave. Anchialine cave systems are characterized by the presence of several strong density interfaces that isolate the cave system into components: regions of freshwater at the surface, a hydrogen sulfide layer, and a warm oceanic intrusion that is devoid of oxygen. These unusual physical parameters provide a challenging environment for the organisms that reside there. Within the hypoxic and anoxic regions of the cave system, a unique community of macrofauna has adapted to cope with constant low oxygen conditions and a depauperate food supply. We examined respiration rates and proximate compositions of individuals representing seven orders of troglobitic crustaceans collected from two Bahamian anchialine caves. In addition, we examined the physical conditions of both caves to determine ambient oxygen concentrations. Mass-specific respiration rates of the troglobites were more than an order of magnitude lower than those of comparably sized pelagic crustaceans. When compared to organisms residing in oxygen minimum zones, respiration rates of the troglobites were similar, or in some cases, lower. Enzymes of the troglobites were anaerobically poised with lactate dehydrogenase activities exceeding those of citrate synthase in all species. Malate dehydrogenase activities were greater than lactate dehydrogenase activities, indicating further evolutionary adaptations to an anaerobic environment.

Affiliations: 1: a (REB, correspondence) Pennsylvania State University, Worthington Scranton, 120 Ridge View Drive, Dunmore, Pennsylvania 18512, U.S.A. (; ; 2: b (BK) Caribbean Marine Research Center, 100 North U.S. Highway 1 #202, Jupiter, Florida 33477, U.S.A. (; ; 3: c (JJT) University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, 140 Seventh Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, U.S.A. (


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Banse K. 1964 "On the vertical distribution of zooplankton in the sea." Pp. 53125 in Progress in Oceanography. Pergamon Press, Oxford
2. Barr T. C. Jr. 1968 "Cave ecology and the evolution of troglobites." Evolutionary Biology Vol 2 35 102
3. Belman B. W. , Childress J. J. 1976 "Circulatory adaptations to the oxygen minimum layer in the bathypelagic mysid Gnathophausia ingens." Biological Bulletin (Woods Hole) Vol 150 15 37
4. Booth E. E. , McMahome B. R. , Pinder A. W. 1982 "Oxygen uptake and the potentiating effects of increased haemolymph lactate on oxygen transport during exercise in the blue crab Callinectes sapidus." Journal of Comparative Physiology B Vol 148 111 121
5. Childress J. J. 1968 "Oxygen minimum layer, vertical distribution and respiration of the mysid Gnathophausia ingens." Science Vol 160 1242 1243
6. Childress J. J. 1971 "Respiratory adaptations to the oxygen minimum layer in the bathypelagic mysid Gnathophausia ingens." Biological Bulletin (Woods Hole) Vol 141 109 121
7. Childress J. J. 1975 "The respiratory rates of midwater crustaceans as a function of depth of occurrence and relation to the oxygen minimum layer off Southern California." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Vol 50 787 799
8. Childress J. J. , Nygaard M. H. 1973 "The chemical composition and relative buoyancy of midwater crustaceans as a function of depth of occurrence off Southern California." Deep-Sea Research Vol 20 1093 1109
9. Childress J. J. , Nygaard M. H. 1974 "The chemical composition and relative buoyancy of midwater crustaceans as a function of depth of occurrence off Southern California." Marine Biology Vol 27 225 238
10. Clark L. C. 1956 "Monitor and control of blood and tissue oxygen tensions." Transactions American Society for Artificial Internal Organs Vol 2 41 48
11. Cowles D. L. , Childress J. J. , Wells M. E. 1991 "Metabolic rates of midwater crustaceans as a function of depth of occurrence off the Hawaiian Islands: food availability as a selective factor?." Marine Biology Vol 110 75 83
12. Culver D. C. 1982 Cave Life. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 189 pp
13. Culver D. C. , Poulson T. L. 1971 "Oxygen consumption and activity in closely related amphipod populations from cave and surface habitats." American Midland Naturalist Vol 85 74 84
14. Donnelly J. , Stickney D. G. , Torres J. J. 1993 "Proximate and elemental composition and energy content of mesopelagic crustaceans from the Eastern Gulf of Mexico." Marine Biology Vol 115 469 480
15. Donnelly J. , Torres J. J. 1988 "Oxygen consumption of midwater fishes and crustaceans from the eastern Gulf of Mexico." Marine Biology Vol 97 483 494
16. Forgue J. , Burtin B. , Massabuau J. C. 1989 "Maintenance of oxygen consumption in resting teleost Silurus glanis at various levels of oxygenation." Journal of Experimental Biology Vol 143 305 319
17. Forgue J. , Truchot J. P. , Massabuau J. C. 1992 "Low arterial PO2 in resting crustaceans is independent of blood O2 affinity." Journal of Experimental Biology Vol 170 257 264
18. Gannon A. T. , Demarco V. G. , Morris T. , Wheatly M. , Kao Y. 1999 "Oxygen uptake, critical oxygen tension and available oxygen for three species of cave crayfishes." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 19 235 243
19. Hochachka P. W. , Fields J. , Mustafa T. 1973 "Animal life without oxygen: basic biochemical mechanisms." American Zoologist Vol 13 543 555
20. Hochachka P. W. , Lutz P. L. 2001 "Mechanism, origin and evolution of anoxia tolerance in animals." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B Vol 130 435 459
21. Hochachka P. W. , Somero G. N. 2002 Biochemical Adaptation: Mechanism and Process in Physiological Evolution. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York
22. Holsinger J. 1989 "Preliminary zoogeographic analysis of five groups of crustaceans from anchialine caves in the West Indian region." Proceedings Tenth International Congress Speleology, Budapest Vol 2 25 26
23. Holthuis L. B. 1973 "Caridean shrimps found in land-locked saltwater pools at four Indo-West Pacific localities (Sinai Peninsula, Funafuti Atoll, Maui and Hawaii Islands), with the description of one new genus and four new species." Zoologische Verhandelingen Vol 128 1 48
24. Ikeda T. , Kanno Y. , Ozaki K. , Shinada A. 2001 "Metabolic rates of epipelagic marine copepods as a function of body mass and temperature." Marine Biology Vol 139 587 596
25. Jackson D. 1968 "Metabolic depression and O2 depletion in the diving turtle." Journal of Applied Physiology Vol 24 503 509
26. Jaume D. , Boxshall G. A. , Iliffe T. M. 1998 "Two new genera of misophrioid copepods (Crustacea) from an anchihaline cave in the Bahamas." Journal of Natural History Vol 32 661 681
27. Kamp G. 1993 "Intracellular reactions controlling environmental anaerobiosis in the marine annelid Arenicola marina, a fresh look at old pathways." Pp. 517 in P. W. Hachachka, P. L. Lutz, T. Sick, M. Rosenthal, and G. van der Thillart, eds. Surviving Hypoxia: Mechanisms of Control and Adaptation. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida
28. Lallier F. , Boitel F. , Truchot J. P. 1987 "The effect of ambient oxygen and temperature on hemolymph L-lactate and urate concentrations in the shore crab Carcinus maenas." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Vol 86 A 255 260
29. Lehninger A. L. , Nelson D. L. , Cox M. M. 1993 Principles of Biochemistry. Worth Publishers, New York
30. Massabuau J. C. 2001 "From low arterial- to low tissue-oxygenation strategy. An evolutionary theory." Respiration Physiology Vol 128 249 261
31. Massabuau J. C. , Burtin B. , Wheatly M. 1991 "How is O2 consumption maintained independent of ambient oxygen in mussel Anodonta cygnea?." Respiratory Physiology Vol 83 103 114
32. Milligan C. L. , Walsh P. J. , Booth C. E. , McDonald D. G. 1989 "Intracellular acid-base regulation during recovery from locomotor activity in the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)." Physiological Zoology Vol 62 621 638
33. Pohlman J. W. , Iliffe T. M. , Cifuentes L. A. 1997 "A stable isotope study of organic cycling and the ecology of an anchialine cave ecosystem." Marine Ecology: Progress Series Vol 155 17 27
34. Poulson T. L. 2001 "Adaptations of cave fishes with some comparisons to deep-sea fishes." Environmental Biology of Fishes Vol 62 345 364
35. Sanders N. K. , Childress J. J. 1988 "Ion replacement as a buoyancy mechanism in a pelagic deep-sea crustacean." Journal of Experimental Biology Vol 138 333 343
36. Sanders N. K. , Childress J. J. 1990 "Adaptations to the deep-sea oxygen minimum layer: oxygen binding by the hemocyanin of the bathypelagic mysid, Gnathophausia ingens Dorn." Biological Bulletin (Woods Hole) Vol 178 286 294
37. Sarbu S. M. , Kane T. C. 1995 "A subterranean chemoautotrophically based ecosystem." NSS (National Speleological Society) Bulletin Vol 57 91 98
38. Schmidt J. 1925 "On the contents of oxygen in the ocean on both sides of Panama." Science (Washington) Vol 61 592 593
39. Sewell R. B S. , Fage L. 1948 "Minimum oxygen layer in the ocean." Nature (London) Vol 162 949 951
40. Shapiro A. Z. , Bobkova A. N. 1975 "The role of malate dehydrogenase in adaptation to hypoxia in invertebrates." Journal of Evolutionary Biochemistry and Physiology Vol 11 478 479
41. Thuesen E. V. , Miller C. B. , Childress J. J. 1998 "Ecophysiological interpretation of oxygen consumption rates and enzymatic activities of deep-sea copepods." Marine Ecology: Progress Series Vol 168 95 107
42. Torres J. J. , Somero G. N. 1988 "Vertical distribution and metabolism in Antarctic mesopelagic fishes." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Vol 90B 521 528
43. Tran D. , Boudou A. , Massabuau J. C. 2000 "Mechanism of oxygen consumption maintenance under varying levels of oxygenation in the freshwater clam Corbicula fluminea." Canadian Journal of Zoology Vol 78 2027 2036
44. Van Dover C. L. 1995 "Ecology of the mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vents." Journal of the Geological Society (London), Special Publication Vol 87 257 294
45. Walsh P. J. , Bedolla C. , Mommsen T. P. 1987 "Reexamination of metabolic potential in the toadfish sonic muscle." Journal of Experimental Zoology Vol 241 133 136
46. Yager J. 1987 "Speleonectes tulumenssis (Crustacea: Remipedia) from two anchilaine cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico." Stygologia Vol 3 160 166
47. Yager J. 1989 The Remipedia (Crustacea): a study of their reproduction and ecology.Ph.D. Dissertation, Old Dominion University, Norfolk Virginia, and University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan
48. Yager J. 1991 "The Remipedia (Crustacea): recent investigations of their biology and phylogeny." Verhabdkybgeb der Deutschen Zoologischen Gesellschaft Vol 84 261 269
49. Yager J. , Spokane R. B. 1997 The biodiversity and water chemistry of an anchialine cave in the Bahamas. In O. I. Sasowsky, D. Fong, and E. White, eds. Conservation and Protection of the Biota of Karst. Special publication 3
50. Yager J. , Spokane R. B. , Bozanic J. E. , Williams D. W. , Balado E. 1994 An ecological comparison of two anchilaine caves in Cuba with emphasis on water chemistry. Proceedings of the Second International Conference of Ground Water Ecology: 95104

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Crustacean Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation