Life Cycles & Population Dynamics
Our limited understanding of the notothenioids is particularly acute in the ecological realm. The necessity to study large numbers of species, and many individuals per species, throughout a geographically dispersed ecosystem has certainly been an impediment to development of an ecological Weltanschauung of this group. The ICEFISH 2004 cruise will contribute to remedying this lack of understanding, in particular by linking the understudied Sub-Antarctic ecosystem to the better studied High Antarctic. To understand the life-history strategies of the Sub-Antarctic notothenioids, we will characterize the composition, distribution, habitat preferences, and diets of populations from geographically dispersed regions. Furthermore, we will evaluate the length of larval life and the extent of secondary pelagicism of the larval stages of Sub-Antarctic species to understand both recruitment to adult populations and the evolution of these characters in High Antarctic species.