Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Macroinfauna of Northern New England marine sand. IV. Infaunal ecology of Amphiporeia virginiana Shoemaker, 1933 (Crustacea: Amphipoda)


Amphiporeia virginiana occurs from Nova Scotia to South Carolina where it is a dominant inhabitant of high energy sand beaches. Maximum abundance occurs on the lower foreshore in fine sand particularly during summer months. Within-habitat segregation of sexes occurs, with females more abundant at higher beach levels; ovigerous females are confined to higher levels only. Annual population fluctuations of up to 14-fold on a geometric basis are related to life history events and sedimentary changes. Breeding occurs during most of the year with peak recruitment during June and late summer to early fall, yielding summer and overwintering generations. Precopulating animals are commonly seen swimming, with two males per female occasionally evident. Females produce a mean of 6–11 eggs during the year and have one brood per breeding period. The species is a detritivore and generally inhabits the upper 2.5 cm of sand. It is most tolerant of salinities in the range of 25–35‰; mortality increases rapidly in salinities less than 20‰, and in sediments containing less than 11% water by weight exposed to temperatures simulating hot summer days.

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Canadian Journal of Zoology

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