Marine Biology

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 5–9 | Cite as

Effects of salinity on spermatozoa motility, percentage of fertilized eggs and egg development of Baltic cod (Gadus morhua), and implications for cod stock fluctuations in the Baltic

  • L. Westin
  • A. Nissling


Variation in cod stock strength in the Baltic Sea is considered to be dependent on abiotic conditions such as salinity and water oxygen content in the spawning areas (the Baltic deep basins). Spawning cod were caught off northern Gotland, Sweden, from April to June in 1989 and 1990. Our investigation revealed a reduction in spermatozoan motility and a subsequent reduction in the percentage of fertilized eggs in salinities of 10 to 12‰. Normal egg development required a minimum salinity of 11‰. This coincides with the osmolality of the seminal plasma and egg yolk; i.e., the Baltic cod is adapted to hyperosmotic conditions for spawning and is thus totally dependent on periodical inflows of saline water from the North Sea.


Saline Water Spermatozoan Motility Seminal Plasma Subsequent Reduction Abiotic Condition 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Westin
    • 1
  • A. Nissling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Systems Ecology, Section GotlandStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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