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Marine Biology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 317–334 | Cite as

Breeding and larval distribution of the pteropod Clione limacina in the North Atlantic, Subarctic and North Pacific Oceans

  • S. A. Mileikovsky
Article

Abstract

The pteropod Clione limacina (Phipps, 1774) is an arcticboreal, circumpolar species, which is widely distributed in the North Atlantic and Subarctic Oceans; it also occurs in the North Pacific Ocean (in the Oyashio and neighbouring waters) and along the Atlantic coast of North America in the waters of the cold Labrador current to the Cape Hatteras region (35° N). The distribution of C. limacina larvae in the plankton of the Norwegian, Barents and White Seas, the Bear Island-Spitsbergen region of the Greenland Sea, the Newfoundland Grand Bank and the Flemish-Cap Bank region of the North-western Atlantic Ocean, and the Kurile-Kamchatka region of the North-western Pacific Ocean has been studied, and information from literature concerning the reproduction and larval occurrence of the species is summarized. Throughout its distributional are, spawning of C. limacina is characterized by the same general ecological pattern. This species breeds and spawns in all types of water masses occurring within the vertical range which it commonly inhabits — from surface layers to 500 m water depth. In all local populations of the species, the most intensive spawning is correlated with the spring/summer period of annual heating of the local waters, and the highest abundance parallels maximum growth of phytoplankton which serves as food for veligers and early polytrochous larvae. After the end of this period, spawning intensity in all local C. limacina populations declines sharply, but spawning continues at low intensity during the autumn/winter season, being practically continuous throughout the year. Distribution patterns of C. limacina larvae are determined by those of their parental forms (the parental forms spawn in the zones permanently inhabited). The earliest larval stages of C. limacina (veligers) are present predominantly in the upper 100 or 200 m water layer, i.e. in the zone of high phytoplankton abundance. Polytrochous larvae, after becoming predaceous feeders, are distributed throughout the whole water column from the surface to 500 m depth, similar to adult C. limacina. As with the adults, larvae are present (within the species' distribution area) in all types of water masses. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, in the course of the warming of the Arctic Ocean, the southern race of C. limacina (formerly a summer/autumn seasonal invader in the Norwegian Sea) has become a permanent component of the plankton fauna of the Norwegian and Barents Seas in regions influenced by the Norwegian-Northcape Current System.

Keywords

Phytoplankton North Pacific Ocean Early Larval Stage Larval Distribution Annual Heating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Mileikovsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Oceanology of the Academy of Science of USSRMoscowUSSR

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