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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The locomotor activity and oxygen consumption rate of two strandline, cryptozoic amphipods, Orchestia gammarellus and Orchestia mediterranea, were characterized with consideration to the "strength" of any endogenous component in the pattern, which was illustrated with reference to the persistence and precision of the endogenous rhythm. Both locomotor and respiratory activity displayed cyclic patterns, with heightened levels associated with the nocturnal phase of an LD schedule. Under constant laboratory conditions a clear, but short-term, 7-10 day, circadian pattern of locomotor activity was recorded in both species. Evidence for an endogenous respiratory cycle was equivocal with heightened, but statistically nonsignificant, nocturnal oxygen consumption rates noted. No data were obtained in either species of Orchestia to suggest any circatidal influence in locomotor or respiratory activity. The persistence and precision of the locomotor rhythm of both species, together with the poorly defined cyclic oxygen consumption pattern are taken to support the proposition that epifaunal/cryptozoic species, exemplified by O. gammarellus and O. mediterranea, while exhibiting a degree of endogenous control, also regulate their activity using concurrent environment information as cues.


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