Marine Biology

, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 649–664 | Cite as

Life-history parameters and vertical distribution of Maurolicus muelleri in Masfjorden in summer

  • O. I. Rasmussen
  • J. Giske


Population characteristics, individual life-history variables, feeding and vertical distribution of the mesopelagic fish Müller's pearlside Maurolicus muelleri collected in 1990 in Masfjorden, western Norway, are reported as well as environmental variables from the fjord. Minimum size at maturity was far smaller than reported from previous investigations in the same region. Fecundity was size-dependent and total egg numbers were higher than reported from other investigations of M. muelleri world wide, while the number of maturing eggs was far lower than observed in the same region earlier. Food concentration in the fjord was an order of magnitude lower than previous early summer observations, and several factors indicated that feeding opportunities may have been low for a long period. Daily feeding rate (g prey g-1 fish) decreased with increasing fish size. These observations fit well with a model of maximizing fitness by means of a flexible size at maturity. Minimum age at maturity seems to be achieved at the expense of fecundity. M. muelleri was concentrated in a 20 to 30 m deep sound scattering layer (SSL). The SSL stayed close to the surface during the night and at 100 to 180 m during the daytime. The vertical position of the SSL varied instantaneously with changes in surface light intensity, remaining at 10-3 to 10-4 μmol m-1 s-1 at the top of the SSL. Stomach fullness was highest during the night; feeding intensity seems to have been peaked at dusk. Cladocerans were the main prey ranked by number, copepods by biomass. Intake of large copepods increased with fish size.


Vertical Distribution Fish Size Main Prey Stomach Fullness Daily Feeding 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. I. Rasmussen
    • 1
  • J. Giske
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and Marine BiologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Marine ResearchBergenNorway

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