Behavioral, Ecological and Genetic Differentiation in an Open Environment—A Study of a Mysid Population in the Baltic Sea

2013 | PLoS ONE | 8

Diel vertical migration (DVM) is often assumed to encompass an entire population. However, bimodal nighttime vertical distributions have been observed in various taxa. Mysid shrimp populations also display this pattern with one group concentrated in the pelagia and the other near the bottom. This may indicate alternative migratory strategies, resembling the seasonal partial migrations seen in birds, fishes and amphibians, where only a subset of the population migrates. To assess the persistence of these alternative strategies, we analyzed the nitrogen and carbon stable isotope signatures (as proxies for diet), biochemical indices (as proxies for growth condition), and genetic population divergence in the Baltic mysid Mysis salemaai collected at night in the pelagia and close to the bottom. Stable isotope signatures were significantly different between migrants (pelagic samples) and residents (benthic samples), indicating persistent diet differences, with pelagic mysids having a more uniform and carnivorous diet. Sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome subunit I (COI) gene showed genetic differentiation attributable to geographic location but not between benthic and pelagic groups. Divergent migration strategies were however supported by significantly lower gene flow between benthic populations indicating that these groups have a lower predisposition for horizontal migrations compared to pelagic ones. Different migration strategies did not convey measurable growth benefits as pelagic and benthic mysids had similar growth condition indices. Thus, the combination of ecological, biochemical and genetic markers indicate that this partial migration may be a plastic behavioral trait that yields equal growth benefits.

Status and vertical size-distributions of a pelagic mysid community in the northern Baltic proper

2013 | Boreal Environ. Res. | 18 (1-18)

Status and vertical size-distributions of a pelagic mysid community in the northern Baltic proper. Boreal Env. Res. 18: 1-18. We report on abundance, biomass, trophic position and vertical size distribution of pelagic mysids (Mysis mixta, Mysis relicta/salemaai, Neomysis integer) in a coastal Baltic Proper area. As compared with the situation in this area in the 1980s, the formerly dominating M. mixta has declined and the total mysid biomass decreased by 50%. Neomysis integer now constitutes the bulk of the mysids. Stable isotopes indicate that they feed on a lower trophic level than Mysis spp., and M. relicta appears more carnivorous than M. mixta. For N. integer, size increases with depth and decreases with in situ light. This was not found for Mysis spp., probably due to their narrow size span and smaller sample size than for N. integer. In N. integer, in situ light explained the size variation with depth better than temperature, indicating that this variation is a response to predation rather than size-related thermal preference.

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