Original Paper

Polar Biology

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 910-921

First online:

Life histories of the copepods Pseudocalanus minutus, P. acuspes (Calanoida) and Oithona similis (Cyclopoida) in the Arctic Kongsfjorden (Svalbard)

  • Silke LischkaAffiliated withInstitute for Polar Ecology, Kiel University Email author 
  • , Wilhelm HagenAffiliated withMarine Zoology (FB 2), Bremen University (NW 2A)

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The year-round variation in abundance and stage-specific (vertical) distribution of Pseudocalanus minutus and Oithona similis was studied in the Arctic Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Maxima of vertically integrated abundance were found in November with 111,297 ind m−2 for P. minutus and 704,633 ind m−2 for O. similis. Minimum abundances comprised 1,088 ind m−2 and 4,483 ind m−2 in June for P. minutus and O. similis, respectively. The congener P. acuspes only occurred in low numbers (15–213 ind m−2), and successful reproduction was debatable. Reproduction of P. minutus took place in May/June, and stage distribution revealed a 1-year life cycle with copepodids CIII, CIV, and CV as the overwintering stages. Oithona similis exhibited two main reproductive peaks in June and August/September, respectively. Moreover, it reproduced more or less continuously throughout the whole year with all stages occurring during the entire sampling period, suggesting two generations per year. Both species migrated towards greater depth in November, but O. similis preferred to stay longer in the upper 100 m as compared to Pseudocalanus. The reproduction of the two species in Kongsfjorden seemed to be linked to phytoplankton dynamics.