Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 1, pp 121–129

Growth and development of nauplii and copepodites of the estuarine copepod Acartia tonsa from southern Europe (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal) under saturating food conditions


    • Department of BiologyUniversity of Aveiro
  • Peter Tiselius
    • Department of Marine Ecology, Kristineberg Marine Research StationGöteborg University
  • Henrique Queiroga
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of Aveiro
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00227-006-0336-y

Cite this article as:
Leandro, S.M., Tiselius, P. & Queiroga, H. Mar Biol (2006) 150: 121. doi:10.1007/s00227-006-0336-y


A temperature-dependent growth model is presented for nauplii and copepodites of the estuarine calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa from southern Europe (Portugal). Development was followed from egg to adult in the laboratory at four temperatures (10, 15, 18 and 22°C) and under saturating food conditions (>1,000 μg C l−1). Development times versus incubation temperature were fitted to a Belehradek’s function, showing that development times decreased with increasing incubation temperature: at 10°C, A. tonsa need 40.3 days to reach adult stage, decreasing to 8.9 days when reared at 22°C. ANCOVA (homogeneity of slopes) showed that temperature (P<0.001) and growth phase (P<0.01) had a significant effect on the growth rate. Over the range of temperatures tested in this study, highest weight-specific growth rates were found during naupliar development (NI–NVI) and varied from 0.185 day−1 (10°C) to 0.880 day−1 (22°C) with a Q 10 equal to 3.66. During copepodite growth (CI–CV), the weight-specific growth rates ranged from 0.125 day−1 (10°C) to 0.488 day−1 (22°C) with a Q 10 equal to 3.12. The weight-specific growth rates (g) followed temperature (T) by a linear relationship and described as ln g=−2.962+0.130 T (r 2=0.99, P<0.001) for naupliar stages and ln g=−3.134+0.114T (r 2=0.97, P<0.001) for copepodite stages. By comparing in situ growth rates (juvenile growth and fecundity) for A. tonsa taken from the literature with the temperature-dependent growth model defined here we suggest that the adult females of A. tonsa are more frequently food limited than juveniles.


Postembryonic development times Somatic growth Weight-specific growth rates Acartia tonsa Temperature-dependent growth model Ria de Aveiro (Portugal)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006