Large-scale oceanic distribution and population structure of Calanus finmarchicus in relation to physical environment, food and predators

T. Dale, S. Kaartvedt, B. Ellertsen, R. Amundsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The investigation was carried out from 62°N to 73°N and from 14°E to 11°W in the Norwegian Sea during 19 June-12 July 1997. Regional differences in the phase of the seasonal development of the plankton community were evident, most pronounced across the Arctic front. In the Coastal and eastern Atlantic domains, post-bloom conditions prevailed, characterised by low chlorophyll a (chl a) levels and a phytoplankton assemblage dominated by coccolithophorids and small flagellates. During the study period, egg production rates of Calanus finmarchicus were low (<10 eggs female-1 day-1), older copepodite stages dominated, and the seasonal descent to deeper waters had started. In the Arctic domain, bloom conditions were evident by high chl a levels and a high abundance of large diatoms. Egg production rates were higher (a maximum of 29 eggs female-1 day-1), but the dominance of stages CI-CIII indicated that considerable spawning had already occurred prior to the spring bloom. The seasonal descent had barely started. Both invertebrate and fish predators were most abundant in the Coastal and eastern Atlantic domains, with abundance strongly decreasing north-westwards. No tight relationship between total abundance of invertebrate or fish predators and that of C. finmarchicus was apparent. However, a weak, but significant, relationship between abundance of young stages of chaetognaths and Euchaeta spp. versus young stages of C. finmarchicus was found, indicating that these invertebrate predators develop parallel to the development of the new cohort of C. finmarchicus. In early summer, C. finmarchicus had reached overwintering stages, and had started to accumulate in deeper waters in areas with the highest abundance of horizontally migratory planktivorous fish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-574
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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