Polar Biology

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 910–921 | Cite as

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

  • Silke Lischka
  • Wilhelm Hagen
Original Paper


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.


Copepodite Stage Spring Phytoplankton Bloom Copepod Nauplius Calanus Species Distinct Seasonal Cycle 
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.



We thank the University Courses on Svalbard (UNIS) and the staff of the Koldewey Station of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Ny Ålesund for providing excellent logistic facilities and support during the 1-year field period. Special thanks to Dr. Ole Jørgen Lønne for supervising the project during the 1-year-stay at UNIS, as well as to Dirk Römermann for always providing support with regard to technical help, manpower, and collecting zooplankton. The first author is also grateful to all volunteers who helped during the field work, sometimes under extreme climatic conditions: Bodil Bluhm, Stefan Claes, Haakon Hop, Fred Skancke Hansen, Ole-Jørgen Lønne, Wojtek Moskal, Michael Poltermann, Sten Richard Richardsen as well as the crews of R/V Jan Mayen, a Norwegian coastguard vessel (R/V Lance) and R/V Oceania. Jan Marcin Weslawski and his team from the Polish Institute for Oceanology in Sopot are gratefully acknowledged for collecting the July zooplankton samples. We also thank Holger Auel and three anonymous referees for their valuable comments on the manuscript. The sampling period on Svalbard was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (HA 1706/4-1).


  1. Atkinson A, Sinclair JD (2000) Zonal distribution and seasonal vertical migration of copepod assemblages in the Scotia Sea. Polar Biol 23:46–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basedow SL, Eiane K, Tverberg V, Spindler M (2004) Advection of zooplankton in an Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard). Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 60:113–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boxshall GA (1977) The depth distributions and community organization of the planktonic cyclopoids (Crustacea: Copepoda) of the Cape Verde Island region. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 57:543–568Google Scholar
  4. Conover RJ (1988) Comparative life histories in the genera Calanus and Neocalanus in high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Hydrobiol 167/168:127–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Conover RJ, Siferd TD (1993) Dark-season survival strategies of coastal zooplankton in the Canadian Arctic. Arctic 46(4):303–311Google Scholar
  6. Corkett CJ, McLaren IA (1978) The biology of Pseudocalanus. Adv Mar Biol 15:1–231Google Scholar
  7. Davis CC (1976) Overwintering strategies of common planktic copepods in some north Norway fjords and sounds. Astarte 99:37–42Google Scholar
  8. Digby PSB (1954) The biology of the marine planktonic copepods of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. J Animal Ecol 23(2):298–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Falkenhaug T, Tande K, Timonin A (1997) Spatio-temporal patterns in the copepod community in Malangen, northern Norway. J Plankton Res 19(4):449–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fransz HG (1988) Vernal abundance, structure and development of epipelagic copepod populations of the eastern Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Polar Biol 99:107–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fransz HG, Gonzalez SR (1995) The production of Oithona similis (Copepoda: Cyclopoida) in the Southern Ocean. ICES J Mar Sci 52(3–4):549–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fransz HG, Gonzalez SR (1997) Latitudinal metazoan plankton zones in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current along 6°W during austral spring 1992. Deep Sea Res II 44:395–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frost BW (1989) A taxonomy of the marine calanoid copepod genus Pseudocalanus. Can J Zool 67(3):525–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gallienne CP, Robins DB (2001) Is Oithona the most important copepod in the world’s oceans? J Plankton Res 23(12):1421–1432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gibbons SG, Ogilvie HS (1933) The development stages of Oithona helgolandica and Oithona spinirostris, with a note on the occurrence of body spines in cyclopoid nauplii. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 18(2):529–550Google Scholar
  16. Grainger EH (1959) The annual oceanographic cycle at Igloolik in the Canadian Arctic. 1. The zooplankton and physical and chemical observations. J Fish Res Bd Canada 16(4):453–501Google Scholar
  17. Halvorsen E, Tande KS (1999) Physical and biological factors influencing the seasonal variation in distribution of zooplankton across the shelf at Nordvestbanken, northern Norway, 1994. Sarsia 84:279–292Google Scholar
  18. Hansen FC, Möllmann C, Schütz U, Hinrichsen HH (2004) Spatio-temporal distribution of Oithona similis in the Bornholm Basin (Central Baltic Sea). J Plankton Res 26(6):659–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hirche HJ, Hagen W, Mumm N, Richter C (1994) The Northeast Water Polynya, Greenland Sea III. Meso- and macrozooplankton distribution and production of dominant herbivorous copepods during spring. Polar Biol 14:491–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hop H, Pearson T, Hegseth EN, Kovacs KM, Wiencke C, Kwasniewski S, Eiane K, Mehlum F, Gulliksen B, Wlodarska-Kowalczuk M, Lydersen C, Weslawski JM, Cochrane S, Gabrielsen GW, Leakey RJG, Lønne OJ, Zajaczkowski M, Falk-Petersen S, Kendall M, Wängberg S-Å, Bischof K, Voronkov AY, Kovaltchouk NA, Wiktor J, Poltermann M, di Prisco G, Papucci C, Gerland S (2002) The marine ecosystem of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Res 21(1):167–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ito H, Kudoh S (1997) Characteristics of water in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Proc NIPR Symp Polar Meteorol Glaciol 11:211–232Google Scholar
  22. Klein Breteler WCM, Gonzalez SR, Schogt N (1995) Development of Pseudocalanus elongatus (Copepoda, Calanoida) cultured at different temperature and food conditions. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 119(1–3):99–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kwasniewski S (1990) A note on zooplankton of the Hornsund Fjord and its seasonal changes. Oceanografia 12:7–27Google Scholar
  24. Kwasniewski S, Hop H, Falk-Petersen S, Pedersen G (2003) Distribution of Calanus species in Kongsfjorden, a glacial fjord in Svalbard. J Plankton Res 25(1):1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lischka S, Hagen W, Ueberschär B (2005) Seasonal changes in digestive enzyme activity (trypsin) of the copepods Pseudocalanus minutus (Calanoida) and Oithona similis (Cyclopoida) in the Arctic Kongsfjorden (Svalbard). J Plankt Res (in review)Google Scholar
  26. Longhurst AR (1985) The structure and evolution of plankton communities. Prog Oceanogr 15:1–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Marshall SM (1949) On the biology of the small copepods in Loch Striven. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 28:45–95Google Scholar
  28. McLaren IA (1963) Effects of temperature on growth of zooplankton, and the adaptive value of vertical migration. J Fish Res Bd Canada 20(3):685–727Google Scholar
  29. McLaren IA, Corkett CJ (1986) Life cycles and production of two copepods on the Scotian Shelf, eastern Canada. In: Schriever O, Schminke HK, Shin CT (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Copepoda, Ottawa, Canada. 13–17 August 1984, Syllogeus 58:362–368Google Scholar
  30. Metz C (1995) Seasonal variation in the distribution and abundance of Oithona and Oncaea species (Copepoda, Crustacea) in the southeastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Polar Biol 15:187–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Niehoff B (2003) Gonad morphology and oocyte development in Pseudocalanus spp. in relation to spawning activity. Mar Biol 143:759–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nielsen TG, Andersen CM (2002) Plankton community structure and production along a freshwater-influenced Norwegian fjord system. Mar Biol 141(4):707–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Norrbin MF (1991) Gonad maturation as an indication of seasonal cycles for several species of small copepods in the Barents Sea. In: Sakshaug E, Hopkins CCE, Oeritsland NA (eds) Proceedings of the Pro Mare Symposium on Polar Marine Ecology. Polar Res 10(1–2):421–432Google Scholar
  34. Norrbin MF, Olsen R-E, Tande KS (1990) Seasonal variation in lipid class and fatty acid composition of two small copepods in Balsfjorden, northern Norway. Mar Biol 105(2):205–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ogilvie HS (1953) Copepod Nauplii (I). Cons Int L’Explor Mer, Zooplankton. Sheet 50Google Scholar
  36. Okolodkov YB, Hapter R, Semovski SV (2000) Phytoplankton in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen, July 1996. Sarsia 85(4):345–352Google Scholar
  37. Paffenhöfer GA (1993) On the ecology of marine cyclopoid copepods (Crustacea, Copepoda). J Plankton Res 15(1):37–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pertsova NM, Kosobokova KN (1996) Sex ratio, reproduction, and fecundity of Pseudocalanus minutus (Krøyer) in the White Sea. Okeanologiya 36(5):747–755Google Scholar
  39. Saloranta TM, Svendsen H (2001) Across the Arctic front west of Spitsbergen: high resolution CTD sections from 1998–2000. Polar Res 20:177–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Svendsen H, Beszczynska-Moeller A, Hagen JO, Lefauconnier B, Tverberg V, Gerland S, Oebaeck JB, Bischof K, Papucci C, Zajaczkowski M, Attolini R, Bruland O, Wiencke C, Winther JG, Dallmann W (2002) The physical environment of Kongsfjorden-Krossfjorden, an Arctic fjord system in Svalbard. Polar Res 21(1):133–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tréguer P, Jacques G (1992) Dynamics of nutrients and phytoplankton, and fluxes of carbon, nitrogen and silicon in the Antarctic Ocean. Polar Biol 12:149–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ussing HH (1938) The biology of some important plankton animals in the fjords of East Greenland. Medd Grønland 100(7):108Google Scholar
  43. Uye S, Sano K (1998) Seasonal variations in biomass, growth rate and production rate of the small cyclopoid copepod Oithona davisae in a temperate eutrophic inlet. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 163:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vinje T (1982) Frequency distribution of sea ice in the Greenland and Barents seas, 1971–80. Nor Polarinst Årb 1980, 57–61. Oslo: Norwegian Polar InstituteGoogle Scholar
  45. Visser AW, Saito H, Saiz E, Kiørboe T (2001) Observations of copepod feeding and vertical distribution under natural turbulent conditions in the North Sea. Mar Biol 138:1011–1019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Weslawski JM, Zajaczkowski M, Kwasniewski S, Jezierski J, Moskal W (1988) Seasonality in an Arctic fjord ecosystem: Hornsund, Spitsbergen. Pol Res 6:185–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Weslawski JM, Jankowski A, Kwasniewski S, Swerpel S, Ryg M (1991) Summer hydrology and zooplankton in two Svalbard fjords. Pol Polar Res 12(3):445–460Google Scholar
  48. Weslawski JM, Ryg M, Smith TG, Oritsland NA (1994) Diet of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) in a fjord of West Svalbard. Arctic 47(2):109–114Google Scholar
  49. Wiborg KF (1954) Investigations on zooplankton in coastal and offshore waters of western and northwestern Norway, with special reference to the copepods. Rep Norweg Fish Invest 11(1):1–246Google Scholar
  50. Wiborg KF (1955) Zooplankton in relation to hydrography in the Norwegian Sea. Rep Norweg Fish Invest 11(4):1–66Google Scholar
  51. Wiktor J (1999) Early spring microplankton development under fast ice covered fjords of Svalbard, Arctic. Oceanologia 41(1):51–72Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Polar EcologyKiel UniversityKielGermany
  2. 2.Marine Zoology (FB 2)Bremen University (NW 2A)BremenGermany

Personalised recommendations