Marine Biology

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 63–77 | Cite as

Annual population development and production by small copepods in Disko Bay, western Greenland

  • Siz D. Madsen
  • Torkel G. Nielsen
  • Benni W. HansenEmail author
Original Paper


The population of small copepod species (approximately <1 mm) were investigated during an annual cycle in Disko Bay, western Greenland. The small species considered were Acartia longiremis, Pseudocalanus spp., Oithona spp., Oncaea spp., Microsetella spp., and Microcalanus spp. Most of the small species were present in the surface waters year round and numerically dominated the community, and in biomass from late summer and throughout winter. Oithona spp. was numerically the main contributor, while Pseudocalanus spp. dominated in terms of biomass. In the uppermost 50 m, maximum abundance, biomass and secondary production were observed in late September after the phytoplankton production practically had terminated and the winter initiated. The free spawning Acartia longiremis showed a strong seasonal fluctuation in biomass and egg production, in contrast to the egg carrying species Pseudocalanus spp. and Oithona spp. These had a long spawning season and maintained a more stable biomass year round. Secondary production was estimated by three different ways: (1) based on the obtained specific egg production rates, (2) a temperature dependent equation, and (3) a multilinear regression taking temperature, body weight and chlorophyll into consideration. The contribution of the small species was insignificant when compared to the large Calanus species during the spring- and post-bloom. However, during late summer and winter, where Calanus had left the upper water strata for hibernation, the small species played a crucial role in the pelagic carbon cycling.


Small Species Secondary Production Under Sampling Entire Water Column Depth Stratum 
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 are greatly indebted to skipper Jørgen Broberg and the rest of the crew of R.V. “Porsild” for the help and support on the many cruises and to the hunters operating the dog sledges and helping on the sea ice. The board of the Arctic Station, University of Copenhagen, is acknowledged for providing the vessel and laboratory facilities. Many thanks are due to the late technical manager of the Arctic Station, Leif Skytte. Thanks also to Birgit Søborg and Dr. Thomas Wernberg Møller for their technical assistance and to Dr. Peter Thor, Dr. Anne Winding and several unknown reviewers for comments to improve the manuscript. This study was supported by the Danish National Research Council, Proj. No. 9501038 to TGN and BWH.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siz D. Madsen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Torkel G. Nielsen
    • 2
  • Benni W. Hansen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environment, Social and Spatial ChangeRoskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Marine Ecology, National Environmental Research InstituteAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.BagsvaerdDenmark

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