Marine Biology

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 39–48 | Cite as

Variation in Vitamin C content of sprat larvae (Sprattus sprattus) in the Irish Sea

  • A. M. Hapette
  • S. Coombs
  • R. Williams
  • S. A. Poulet


Sprat (Sprattus sprattus) eggs and larvae were sampled from plankton and the Irish Sea in 1988 and 1989 and analysed forl-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) content, which is considered an index of the nutritional well being and thus indicative of the status of the population in relation to environmental (physical and biological) structures. In one month, the Vitamin C content of larvae in different developmental stages decreased from 800 to 300µg g−1 in the youngest larvae (4 to 14 mm) and to 250µg g−1 in the oldest larvae (14 to 28 mm). No significant differences in the Vitamin C content per unit weight were found between larvae collected at four sites located in western stratified waters, central stratified, central mixed and eastern mixed waters. The mean Vitamin C content per larva, as well as mean length and wet weight of larvae were lowest in central mixed and eastern mixed waters in May–June. The estimated increases in Vitamin C, length and weight of individuals in the population of larvae varied significantly from April to June and between western stratified and eastern mixed areas. Highest rates coincided with stratified water conditions and with suitable quantity and quality of food, which seemed to constitute the most favourable environmental conditions for abundance and growth of sprat larvae.


Developmental Stage Water Condition Unit Weight Mixed Water Suitable Quantity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Hapette
    • 1
  • S. Coombs
    • 2
  • R. Williams
    • 2
  • S. A. Poulet
    • 1
  1. 1.Station Biologique (C.N.R.S., UPR 4601 et Université Paris 6)RoscoffFrance
  2. 2.Plymouth Marine LaboratoryThe Hoe, PlymouthEngland

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