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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 447:87-108 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09551

Effects of a future warmer ocean on the coexisting copepods Calanus finmarchicus and C. glacialis in Disko Bay, western Greenland

Sanne Kjellerup1,2,4, Michael Dünweber1, Rasmus Swalethorp1,4, Torkel Gissel Nielsen1,2,4,*, Eva Friis Møller1, Stiig Markager1, Benni Winding Hansen

1Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2Greenland Climate Research Center, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, PO Box 570, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
3Roskilde University, Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
4Present address: National Institute of Aquatic Resources, DTU Aqua, Section for Ocean Ecology and Climate, Technical University of Denmark, Kavalergården 6, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The effects of temperature and food was examined for Calanus finmarchicus and C. glacialis during 3 phases of the phytoplankton spring bloom in Disko Bay, western Greenland. The 2 species were collected during pre-bloom, bloom, and post-bloom and exposed to temperatures from 0 to 10°C, combined with deficient or excess food. Fecal pellet and egg production were measured as indices for grazing and secondary production, respectively. Furthermore, changes in body carbon, nitrogen, and lipid content were measured. C. glacialis sampled before the bloom and incubated with excess food exhibited high specific egg production at temperatures between 0 and 2.5°C. Higher temperatures did not increase egg production considerably, whereas egg production for C. finmarchicus more than tripled between 2.5 and 5°C. Starved C. glacialis produced eggs at all temperatures stimulated by increasing temperatures, whereas starved C. finmarchicus needed temperatures above 5°C to produce eggs fueled by their lipid stores. Few C. finmarchicus had mature gonads at the initiation of the pre-bloom and bloom experiment, and egg production of C. finmarchicus therefore only increased as the ratio of individuals with mature gonads increased. During the bloom, both C. glacialis and C. finmarchicus used the high food availability for egg production, while refueling or exhausting their lipid stores, respectively. Finally, during the post-bloom experiment, production was low by C. finmarchicus, whereas C. glacialis had ­terminated production. Our results suggest that a future warmer ocean will reduce the advantage of early spawning by C. glacialis and that C. finmarchicus will become increasingly prevalent.


KEY WORDS: Calanus finmarchicus · Calanus glacialis · Global warming · Egg production · Fecal pellet production · Population dynamics


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Cite this article as: Kjellerup S, Dünweber M, Swalethorp R, Nielsen TG, Møller EF, Markager S, Hansen BW (2012) Effects of a future warmer ocean on the coexisting copepods Calanus finmarchicus and C. glacialis in Disko Bay, western Greenland. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 447:87-108. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09551

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