Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 6, pp 1319–1330 | Cite as

Energy content and fecundity of capelin (Mallotus villosus) along a 1,500-km latitudinal gradient

  • R. HedeholmEmail author
  • P. Grønkjær
  • S. Rysgaard
Original Paper


Capelin is a planktivorous key fish species in many subarctic ecosystems representing the link between lower trophic levels and apex predators. Little is known, however, of capelin in Greenland waters, but it has been suggested that size and growth increases due to difference in food availability and temperature conditions along a 1,500 km south–north gradient on the west coast. It is presently unknown how the qualitative state of capelin energy content is affected along this gradient. Based on 2007 and 2008 samples, we show that energy content increases with capelin length in both spawning and non-spawning fish and that it varies with latitude in spawning fish along West Greenland (60–71°N). Combining our results on energy content with information on capelin growth along the same latitudinal climate gradient demonstrates that less and lower-quality food is available to capelin predators in the south than in the north.


Energy Density Latitudinal Gradient Length Effect Reproductive Investment Absolute Fecundity 
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 staff at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources for help with sampling. Additionally, we thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Ecology, Department of Biological SciencesAarhus UniversityÅrhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Greenland Climate Research Centre, c/o Greenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland
  3. 3.Greenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland

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