Seasonal variability in copepod ingestion and egg production on the Faroe shelf

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Copepod community ingestion rates of Calanus finmarchicus, Temora longicornis, Acartia longiremis and Pseudocalanus spp., and egg production rates of C. finmarchicus and T. longicornis, were studied in relation to phytoplankton composition, abundance and biomass on the Faroe shelf during a one-year cycle. The phytoplankton community during winter was mainly composed of small flagellates and the copepods of Pseudocalanus spp. As the spring bloom progressed, diatoms increased in abundance and dominated the biomass throughout summer. C. finmarchicus increased in numbers in early spring, while T. longicornis and A. longiremis dominated the community during summer and autumn. While no response in ingestion rates was observed for A. longiremis and Pseudocalanus spp. with increasing diatom biomass, both ingestion rates and egg production of C. finmarchicus and T. longicornis, generally increased, showing a dependence upon diatoms for production. The daily ingestion for C. finmarchicus females was 7% and 22% of body biomass during the pre-bloom and bloom period, respectively, while for T. longicornis females it was 33% and 56% and for A. longiremis females 22% and 33%, respectively. C. finmarchicus accounted for more than 80% of the total copepod ingestion in May, but in mid- and late summer, T. longicornis and A. longiremis dominated, and represented 80–90% of the total copepod ingestion. The proportion of reproductively mature C. finmarchicus increased as the phytoplankton biomass increased. Most of the time there was good agreement between herbivorous ingestion rates and calculated carbon demand for the observed egg production. However, both species showed a peak in egg production prior to the phytoplankton spring-bloom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-265
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2007


  • Copepods
  • Gut fluorescence
  • Ingestion
  • Gonad maturity
  • Egg production
  • Faroe shelf


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