2017-2018 USAP Field Season
The chemical ecology of shallow-water marine macroalgae and invertebrates on the Antarctic Peninsula
Dr. Charles D. Amsler
University of Alabama Birmingham
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: Palmer Station
Researchers will focus on three main objectives regarding the chemical ecology of shallow-water marine macroalgae and invertebrates on the Antarctic Peninsula. The first objective is to expand the current understanding of an apparent community-wide mutualism between macroalgae and their associated amphipods to include gastropods, which are also abundant on many macroalgae. The second objective focuses on the basis and implications of the substantial chemodiversity observed in macroalgal defenses, particularly in the common and heavily defended red algae Plocamium cartilagineum. The third objective is to understand the relationship between P. cartilagineum and the amphipod Paradexamine fissicauda, particularly the benefits and costs to P. fissicauda from being uniquely able to consume P. cartilagineum and other chemically defended red algae. The investigators seek to determine the degree to which P. fissicauda is sequestering secondary metabolite defenses from P. cartilagineum to defend itself from predation.
Field Season Overview
This third and final season builds upon samples collected and experiments from the previous two seasons. This season will include similar collections as previous seasons but also manipulative experiments both in the field and in laboratory aquaria. Extensive daily dive operations, morning and afternoon, are anticipated. Laboratory experiments will include a variety of feeding bioassays of both live tissue and purified compounds prepared in artificial foods at Palmer Station. A gas chromatograph will be used for chemical analyses necessary for set-up of some of the field and laboratory experiments. Extensive use of the Palmer Station Aquarium resources will be required. Ten mesocosm aquarium, located outside of the Palmer Station Aquarium, will provide additional space for experiments.
Deploying Team Members