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Effects of preservation on wet weight, dry weight, nitrogen and carbon contents of Calanus helgolandicus (Crustacea: Copepoda)


The lengths, wet and dry weights, nitrogen and carbon contents of fresh, frozen and formaldehyde-fixed specimens of Calanus helgolandicus (Claus) were determined. Samples were collected during May 1980 in the Celtic Sea. Individual Copepodite Stages 3, 4, 5, and Adult Male and Female Stage 6 were measured and analysed, and 36 linear regression equations derived for these variables together with mean values, standard deviations and 95% confidence limits. The range of nitrogen values in the fresh material, expressed as a percentage of dry weight, ranged from 8.08%±0.80 (Copepodite Stage 3) to 10.89%±0.27 (adult female); carbon values changed from 41.6%±3.05 (mean ±95% confidence limits) for Copepodite Stage 3 to 50.97%±2.63 in Copepodite Stage 5. The adult females had a high nitrogen and relatively low carbon content, while the converse was true for Stage 5 copepodites. There was a loss of dry weight from the frozen samples (57%) and the fixed samples (38%) compared with the mean of the fresh dry weight of all stages. The material lost from the copepods was rich in nitrogen, thus, artificially high percentage carbon values were determined from the frozen and fixed samples (52.0 to 60.3% and 44.7 to 58.5%, respectively).

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Communicated by J. Mauchline, Oban

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Williams, R., Robins, D.B. Effects of preservation on wet weight, dry weight, nitrogen and carbon contents of Calanus helgolandicus (Crustacea: Copepoda). Mar. Biol. 71, 271–281 (1982).

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  • Nitrogen
  • Standard Deviation
  • Linear Regression
  • Carbon Content
  • Adult Female