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Free Content Planktonic Larvae of Spionid and Chaetopterid Polychaetes from off the West Coast of The Antarctic Peninsula

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Thirty-five plankton samples were taken during the austral spring, between mid-October and early November, in the region west of the Antarctic Peninsula, including the area southwest of Brabant Island, (ca. 65.5° S, 63.5° W), northwest of the South Shetland Islands, off Elephant Island (ca. 61° S, 56° W), and in the northwest portion of Bransfield Strait. Somewhat more than half the samples (51%) contain planktonic polychaete larvae, specifically the nectochaetes of the Spionid, Scalelepis eltaninae Blake 1983 or the mesotrocha of the chaetopterid Phyllochaetopterus monroi Hartman 1967. Both species are endemic to Antarctic waters, apparently a consequence of the circumpolar current which acts as a barrier to northward larval dispersal.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1997-03-01

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