A review on the biodiversity, distribution and trophic role of cephalopods in the Arctic and Antarctic marine ecosystems under a changing ocean

Cephalopods play an important role in polar marine ecosystems. In this review, we compare the biodiversity, distribution and trophic role of cephalopods in the Arctic and in the Antarctic. Thirty-two species have been reported from the Arctic, 62 if the Pacific Subarctic is included, with only two species distributed across both these Arctic areas. In comparison, 54 species are known from the Antarctic. These polar regions share 15 families and 13 genera of cephalopods, with the giant squid Architeuthis dux the only species confirmed to occur in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Polar cephalopods prey on crustaceans, fish, and other cephalopods (including cannibalism), whereas predators include fish, other cephalopods, seabirds, seals and whales. In terms of differences between the cephalopod predators in the polar regions, more Antarctic seabird species feed on cephalopods than Arctic seabirds species, whereas more Arctic mammal species feed on cephalopods than Antarctic mammal species. Cephalopods from these regions are likely to be more influenced by climate change than those from the rest of the World: Arctic fauna is more subjected to increasing temperatures per se, with these changes leading to increased species ranges and probably abundance. Antarctic species are likely to be influenced by changes in (1) mesoscale oceanography (2) the position of oceanic fronts (3) sea ice extent, and (4) ocean acidification. Polar cephalopods may have the capacity to adapt to changes in their environment, but more studies are required on taxonomy, distribution, ocean acidification and ecology.

Xavier J. C., Cherel Y., Allcock L., Rosa R., Sabirov R. M., Blicher M. E. & Golikov A. V., 2018. A review on the biodiversity, distribution and trophic role of cephalopods in the Arctic and Antarctic marine ecosystems under a changing ocean. Marine Biology 165: 93. doi: 10.1007/s00227-018-3352-9. Article (subscription required).

 

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