Comparative analysis of Calanus finmarchicus demography at locations around the Northeast Atlantic

M. R. Heath*, O. S. Astthorsson, J. Dunn, B. Ellertsen, E. Gaard, A. Gislason, W. S.C. Gurney, A. T. Hind, X. Irigoien, W. Melle, B. Niehoff, K. Olsen, S. Skreslet, K. S. Tande

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Standardized time-series sampling was carried out throughout 1997 at seven locations around the Northeast Atlantic to investigate regional variations in the seasonal demography of Calamus finmarchicus. Sites ranged from an inshore location in the North Sea, where C. finmarchicus formed only a small component of the zooplankton [<10 mgC m-2 during spring and early summer), to the shelf south of Iceland, and Weathership M in the Norwegian Sea, where the species dominated the zooplankton (>2000 mgC m -2 during spring and summer). The internal consistency of the demographic time-series From each site was investigated by three partial models of life-cycle processes. In general, the demography of late copepodites could be accounted for by a relatively simple forecast model of stage development and diapause. However, there was a large discrepancy between nowcast estimates of egg production based on Female abundance, temperature, and chlorophyll, and hindcast simulations of the egg production required to account for the observed abundance of early copepodite stages. The results point to a gap in our understanding of seasonal variations in rates of egg production and/or survival of nauplii. Overall, the population sampled at Weathership M appeared to be reasonably self-contained, but all other sites were reliant on invasion of overwintered stock in spring. At least two generations were observed at all but one site, but the extent to which these were generated by discrete bursts of egg production varied between sites and seemed to be partly dependent on the proximity to an overwintering location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1580
Number of pages19
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Many personnel at all our Institutes provided essential support for this coordinated programme of sampling, both in the laboratory and in the field. These include Robert Head (PML), Signe Johannessen (IMR), Ulrike Klenke (AWI), Morten Krogstad (NOC), Hildur Petursdóttir (MRI), Susan Robinson (MLA), Ian Watson (coxwain of the RV ‘‘Shuna’’), Ian Napier (North Atlantic Fisheries College, Shetland), and A. Timonin and T. Semenova from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Science. We are also grateful to the research vessel crews, to Oryx UK Ltd and their safety officers on the Murchison Platform for support with sampling in the North Sea, to Golar Nor Ltd, British Petroleum and the crews of the MV ‘‘Grampian Frontier’’ for support with sampling at the Foinaven oil-field west of the Shetland Isles, and the crew of MV ‘‘Polarfront’’ for support with sampling in the Norwegian Sea. The programme was partly supported by European Union TASC project (MAS3-CT95-0039).


  • Atlantic
  • Egg production
  • Modelling stage development
  • Time-series sampling
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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