Comparative ecology of over-wintering Calanus finmarchicus in the northern North Atlantic, and implications for life-cycle patterns

Michael R. Heath, Peter R. Boyle, Astthor Gislason, William S.C. Gurney, Stephen J Hay, Erica J.H Head, Steven Holmes, Anna Ingvarsdóttir, Sigrun H Jónasdóttir, Pennie Lindeque, Raymond T Pollard, Jens Rasmussen, Kelvin Richards, Katherine Richardson, Gary Smerdon, Douglas C Speirs, European Union (Funder)

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Data from plankton net and Optical Plankton Counter sampling during 12 winter cruises between 1994 and 2002 have been used to derive a multi-annual composite 3-D distribution of the abundance of over-wintering Calanus finmarchicus in a swath across the North Atlantic from Labrador to Norway. Dense concentrations occurred in the Labrador Sea, northern Irminger Basin, northern Iceland Basin, eastern Norwegian Sea, Faroe-Shetland Channel, and in the Norwegian Trench of the North Sea. A model of buoyancy regulation in C. finmarchicus was used to derive the lipid content implied by the in situ temperature and salinity at over-wintering depths, assuming neutral buoyancy. The Faroe-Shetland Channel and eastern Norwegian Sea emerged as having the highest water column-integrated abundances of copepodites, the lowest over-wintering temperature, and the highest implied lipid content. The results are discussed in the context of spatial persistence of populations, seasonal patterns of abundance, and relationships between over-wintering and lipid accumulation in the surface waters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-708
Number of pages11
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004



  • Iceland Basin
  • Irminger Sea
  • Labrador Sea
  • lipid
  • net sampling
  • Norwegian Sea
  • optical plankton counter
  • vertical distribution
  • zooplankton

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