Marine Biology

, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 439–443 | Cite as

Day/night differences in determination of growth rate of mackerel Scomber scombrus larvae during a patch-study in the Celtic Sea

  • A. Röpke


The growth rate of mackerel, Scomber scombrus, larvae was calculated by analysing mean cohort length over time. The study took place on the central spawning ground of mackcrel in the Celtic Sea (Great Sole Bank) in April 1986. In order to minimize horizontal catch variability, repeated small-scale sampling with the “Mocness” plankton net was undertaken close to a satellite-tracked drifting buoy during a period of 78 h. Eighteen samples from nine hauls distributed over the whole sampling period were considered. One hundred larvae per sample were measured using a semi-automatic method. The proportion of larger larvae was significantly higher in night catches than in day catches. Independently calculated growth rates were 0.18 mm d-1 for day catches and 0.14 mm d-1 for night catches. This difference was not statistically significant. However, confidence in the calculation of growth rate, computed from night sampling, was much higher than that for day sampling. This may result as an effect of avoidance behaviour by larvae in daylight. Thus, night sampling seems to be a more reliable tool in the study of larval growth and should be used more extensively than daylight sampling.


Growth Rate Sampling Period Avoidance Behaviour Reliable Tool Larval Growth 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Röpke
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Hydrobiologie and FischereiwissenschaftUniversität HamburgHamburg 50FRG

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