Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

The sand-burrowing amphipod Amphiporeia virginiana Shoemaker 1933 in the tidal plankton


The abundance of Amphiporeia virginiana in the tidal plankton over a high energy sandy shore in southern Maine increased to maximum values 1 to 1.4 m above mean low water (MLW) with no clear evidence of a diurnal cycle affecting swimming activity. The species undergoes daily tidal migrations over the shore with swimming activity increasing just before high tide and generally peaking during ebbing tides. Results of experiments with laboratory-held animals supported these conclusions, although swimming rhythms disappeared rapidly after 24 h in the laboratory. The swimming behavior of the species assists reproductive contact of sexes that are segregated in the sand, contributes to short-term fluctuations in distribution and abundance, and assists the species in maintaining dominance on high energy sandy shores.

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Canadian Journal of Zoology

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