Oceanic distribution and life cycle of Calanus species in the Norwegian Sea and adjacent waters

Cecilie Broms*, Webjørn Melle, Stein Kaartvedt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The distribution and demography of Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis and C. hyperboreus were studied throughout their growth season on a basin scale in the Norwegian Sea using ordination techniques and generalized additive models. The distribution and demographic data were related to the seasonal development of the phytoplankton bloom and physical characteristics of water masses. The resulting quantified relationships were related to knowledge on life cycle and adaptations of Calanus species. C. finmarchicus was the numerically dominant Calanus species in Coastal, Atlantic and Arctic waters, showing strong association with both Atlantic and Arctic waters. C. hyperboreus and C. glacialis were associated with Arctic water; however, C. glacialis was occasionally observed in the Norwegian Sea and is probably an expatriate advected into the area from various origins. Demography indicated one generation per year of C. finmarchicus, a two-year life cycle of C. hyperboreus, and both one- and two-year life cycles for C. glacialis in the water masses where they were most abundant. For the examined Calanus species, young copepodites of the new generation seemed to be tuned to the phytoplankton bloom in their main water mass. The development of C. finmarchicus was delayed in Arctic water, and mis-match between feeding stages and the phytoplankton bloom may reduce survival and reproductive success of C. finmarchicus in Arctic water. Based on low abundances of C. hyperboreus CI-III in Atlantic water and main recruitment to CI prior to the phytoplankton bloom, we suggest that reproduction of C. hyperboreus in Atlantic water is not successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1910-1921
Number of pages12
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Issue number21-22
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Calanus finmarchicus
  • Calanus hyperboreus
  • Distribution
  • Environmental characteristics
  • Life cycle
  • Norwegian Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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