Polar Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 12, pp 2489–2498 | Cite as

Life history trait variation of Greenland lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) along a 1600 km latitudinal gradient

  • Rasmus Berg HedeholmEmail author
  • Søren Post
  • Peter Grønkjær
Original Paper


Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) is a highly commercial semi-pelagic fish found throughout the North Atlantic. In West Greenland, lumpfish are distributed along a 1600 km continuous north–south gradient, and is an ideal candidate for studying the effects of latitude and environment on key life history traits (LHT). We describe the spatial variation in length-weight relationships, size-at-age and age-at-maturity in pre-spawning adult males and females in six areas from south (60.7°N, area 1) to north (72.8°N, area 6) and estimate the reproductive output of females as a product of fecundity and individual egg energy content. All the studied LHT varied significantly among areas. The average age of both sexes was approximately three years in the areas 1–3 and gradually increased to approximately four years in area 6. Fecundity and individual egg energy content increased from area 2 to area 5 and then decreased in area 6. Consequently, the relative reproductive output (kJ gonad/kg fish) ranged from 1.21 ± 0.38 in area 6 to 2.53 ± 0.84 in area 5. These spatial differences are hypothetically explained by variations in secondary production and temperature.


Reproductive output Latitudinal gradient Energy allocation Habitat suitability Lumpsucker 



The study received financial support from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the authors would like to thank M. Olsen and three anonymous reviewers who provided comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rasmus Berg Hedeholm
    • 1
    Email author
  • Søren Post
    • 1
  • Peter Grønkjær
    • 2
  1. 1.Greenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland
  2. 2.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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